Lead a horse to water

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They say you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. As we mature in our abilities to lead others, it becomes abundantly clear that getting folks to take note of opportunity is only, at best, half the battle. In fact, identifying prospects is costly and labor intensive; and, failure to convert those prospects, once discovered, actually could put us in a worse place than if the potential had never been uncovered. Finding the water and getting the horse to it without having a plan to get it to drink only serves only as an expensive distraction for us and an annoyance for the equine.

We routinely develop employee skills through internal training, a regular reading list and outside training and support. The Hamilton County Leadership Academy is a highly effective (and affordable) form of on-going personal development. Organizers call the year-long, monthly classes “a leadership program that identifies and prepares informed leaders for our community. Program participants are brought together by their commitment of time, energy and expertise and their desire to be involved in Hamilton County.” In my experience, it motivates emerging leaders within our companies by exposing them to the best of their peers – and the networks built are good for business.

This year, the good folks at HCLA have asked me to proctor the class. While I am honored personally to have the chance to work with this group, I am tasked to make sure that 2013-14 is a standout year.

Available to Hamilton County residents or those with business or civic activities within the community, it is a highly selective program based on leadership capability, interest in community affairs, ability to commit to an intensive program and desire for increased personal community service. The deadline is June 30 for applying at www.hcla.net or to Jill Doyle at jdoyle@hcla.net or 379-1879.

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