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Arts and Culture Public Officials Breakfast 2015

strengthening, unifying and connecting greater Cleveland's arts and culture sector

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Where are you leading?

Looking to the future

What do all great leaders have? I’ve been fortunate to participate in a Leadership Boot Camp through the YWCA, and this question was posed at the start of our last session. We called out answers: “Integrity” “Confidence” ”Influence.” In my head I was dredging up all the great leaders in my life. They have all changed me in some way. They’ve surprised me, captivated my attention and made me understand something I hadn’t before. They’ve taught me how to make better decisions on my own terms. They’ve even tripped me up from time to time (literally and figuratively—I have three sisters). Now you may be quicker than I am, but when our presenter answered her own question, I was almost embarrassed at how simple it was to overlook. All leaders, great or otherwise, have followers.

A few weeks ago, CPAC’s president and CEO Tom Schorgl introduced our strategic plan. The plan as he noted aims at a vision of greater Cleveland’s diverse arts and culture sector as a leading partner in contributing to our community’s vitality and enlivening the human experience.  If you’re reading this, you have your own distinct understanding of arts and culture’s importance in community decision-making.  I get to come to work every day, knowing you are out there leading change, inspiring your audiences, connecting with people and infusing life into gray spaces.  CPAC’s strategic plan can’t be fulfilled without your leadership, and the people who have looked to you for support and partnership. 

My question to you is, in this ecosystem of Cleveland, where are you leading your followers? How are we working together to enhance and grow our community – sustainability, health care, technology, small business, and at the same time, hold our own, keep our authenticity, stay relevant and inclusive? 

March 22 will be the second in our 2013 series of Arts and Culture Roundtables. The program is bringing in partners from a variety of other industries, and we hope you can attend many of them as we develop more insight into these questions.  As you consider your own answers, I’d like to ask you to share your ideas.  With issues like the financial sequester and Ohio State budget looming, tell your colleagues, board members and legislators how arts and culture is leading the charge to advance our community. From everything I’ve learned so far, the best way to create followers for your vision, no matter the size or scope, is to invite them.

Categories: community, experience, leadership, management, public policy, Storytelling, strategic planning

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