Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce Blog

Updates and advocacy from Santa Fe

Leadership Santa Fe – Editorial

Posted by santafechamber on July 27, 2009

| The New Mexican
7/26/2009 – 7/27/09
Some leaders seem born to it; others might grow into it. Still others have leadership capability that needs cultivating and encouraging.
That last big bunch became the focus of the many community-organized leadership-development courses that blossomed nationwide during the past three or four decades.

Allow promising young people a chance to step back from their jobs, and expose them not only to equally promising counterparts, but also to local leaders — from private enterprise, from government and from the ever-more-important volunteer sector.

Let ’em hear, from those who’ve been on the front lines, success stories as well as accounts of disasters — and the lessons learned from both.

Tell them, with pithy examples, how to serve on corporate and volunteer boards of directors — and what amounts to disservice on such boards.

Maybe even let ’em shadow a top executive of their choosing for a day; give ’em an idea of the many demands facing someone on whom so many people count — for guidance, for inspiration and, very likely, for jobs and paychecks.

Soon enough these emerging leaders lose that adjective; they’re thrust — or otherwise elevated — into leadership, titular, actual or both. The aim of such organizations as Leadership New Mexico and Leadership Santa Fe is to make them that much better prepared.

More than 300 achievers and potential achievers have been through Leadership Santa Fe’s six-weekend offerings in a 30-year tenure interrupted by, well, less-than-successful leadership — but resumed in recent years.

The graduates include City Councilor Carmichael Domínguez and County Commissioner Kathy Holian, as well as many others for whom the course has meant a combination of clear focus and broad view.

Who are the future graduates of Leadership Santa Fe?

Maybe you — who knows?

Interested? Visit the Web site at www.
and apply before Aug. 14.

The group has just taken a couple of seven-league strides: It’s now a program of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce. The chamber’s counterparts launched leadership courses in many American cities, so our community’s business group can draw on plenty of experience. At the same time, the Santa Fe Community Foundation has agreed to provide leadership training for those interested in serving on boards of our area’s many nonprofit organizations.

As we hinted above, board membership is more than hob-nobbing with prominent fellow citizens and getting your name on a plaque somewhere.

It’s an art form demanding the discipline of showing up at meetings on time — prepared to contribute to what’s on the agenda, or at least to listen without butting in if you’re not prepared.

Rules of order can be assimilated if you’re not up to reading Robert’s, and getting into the rhythm of a well-run meeting can be fun.

The community foundation, run by our former colleague Billie Blair, for the nouce, should prove to be a great contributor to the many charitable and service organizations constantly on the lookout for, well, leadership.

Connections are a major fringe benefit of belonging to Leadership Santa Fe: Knowing first-hand who’s part of what organization can make your job better, maybe easier, certainly more enjoyable. Santa Fe, for all its growth, remains a small town in many ways.

Knowing folks is good for business; close contacts coming from joint volunteer service, tanto mejor.

We’re encouraged by the new partnerships lending strength to Leadership Santa Fe. We wish its members, their advisers and all who contribute to the program a successful one as this September’s edition approaches.


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