Leaders wear many hats. Good ones are visionaries, coaches, cheerleaders and trailblazers. Yet when times get tough or change happens, the chief role of a leader becomes that of a trouble shooter with the responsibility for preparing the team for immediate action. As they say in the movies…It’s time to lock and load.
As I go about my day, I wear a hat or two or three. I’m a Mom, a wife, a non-profit executive, a CEO, a board member, an investor and a few other things. Across them all, it it all ties back to one thing. I need the help and support of others to get the job done. This week, at one of my many meetings, a fellow board member shared a thought that has really stayed with me. “We need to provide value BEFORE we ask for support.” As I have continued through my week, that message kept coming back to me. Read the rest of this entry »
This week, Tuesday in fact, I have my first BIG meeting as the President and CEO of AZBIO, the Arizona BioIndustry Association. It’s probably the most important meeting we will have all year – the first phase of our strategic planning process.
There will be other important events and meetings through out the year, but this one lays the foundation for what we will do and who we will do it for. Read the rest of this entry »
Leadership is a popular word these days. Consultants preach it, journalists either praise it or bemoan it, companies, boards investors and customers demand it.
The days when leaders were anointed at birth, except in a very few cases, are long gone. Today’s leaders may have great power… or none depending on the authority they wield. But whatever level that may be, with leadership comes a corresponding measure of responsibility.
“For of those to whom much is given, much is required”
Bible (Luke 12:48)
Through the ages it has been written that leadership and responsibility go hand in hand. Today, leadership takes many forms. We lead people in organizations. We lead with thoughts, ideas, and experience. We lead in the development of processes and products. As leaders, however and where ever we may lead, it is important to remember, leadership is not something that is merely handed to us, it is a privilege that must be continually earned. For when our leadership falters, others cease to follow. If others choose not to follow, we are not leading, we are simply walking alone. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting some pretty amazing people. Some were captains of industry, others were politicians, scientists, professional athletes, engineers, artists, celebrities or brilliant thought leaders.
Each, in their own way, was at the top of their personal game and it showed, not just in their accomplishments, which in some cases are legendary, but in the way they treated people. Each one was a class act. Read the rest of this entry »
Often when I am speaking with an audience or sharing ideas with leaders and entrepreneurs, I hear a question that starts like this: “How did you get people to give you a chance to …”
It’s a recurring theme. We want to lead. We want to grow. We want to make a a difference. So, how do we get people to give us a chance to do it? In 2010, I had the opportunity to share ideas with the Society of Women Engineers. We we focused on the 5 C’s that build success. One of those C’s is Community. Here is what happens when you get involved in your community and volunteer.
Lead – Grow – Volunteer
We don’t need to be labeled “a leader” to lead. Just as we don’t need someone else’s permission to develop our skills and grow. What we do need are opportunities to showcase our leadership ability and talents. Although are not many fairy godmothers out there who can wave a magic wand and make an opportunity materialize before our very eyes, there is something we can do that works like magic and makes us feel great too. One simple word. Volunteer.
Over the years, through a number of volunteer activities, I have had the opportunity to share ideas on network television, land radio interviews, be profiled in newspapers and magazines and connect with key decision makers, customers and partners who I might otherwise have never met. By volunteering to do what I could do, I got the chance to do it. People noticed and more opportunities followed. Those opportunities created more opportunities. Pretty soon, I was not just leading, I was doing it officially as “the leader.” It all came about because of volunteer work done in my community or where I worked. If it can work for me, it can work for you. Just follow these two simple steps.
Establish yourself as a leader.
A leader is someone who stands out above the rest. We all have talents that we can share that help us to stand out. Perhaps your talent is organization, team building, networking, writing, or simply listening. Maybe your gift is mentoring, speaking, or a special set of technical or business skills Think of ways that sharing these talents and gifts can help a nonprofit organization that you believe in. Step up, stand out and lead in whatever role you are given.
Roll up your sleeves and show ’em what you can do.
In today’s economy, nonprofit budgets are stretched to the limit. There is almost nothing they do not need. Does your business have great consumer products or services? Donate them to gift baskets, silent auctions or raffles. Do you provide business services? Donate them to the nonprofit itself to help in reducing overhead costs. In each case you are getting yourself and your products or services in front of others who may want to work with you in the future. Often this is the supporters, board members, donors, or sponsors of the organization. The nonprofit may not have the resources to pay for your donations and services, but these people do. When you do a great job or deliver a great product, people notice and even better… they tell their friends.
Volunteering is not only a philanthropic activity. In our workplace, there are lots of opportunities to step forward and volunteer. Perhaps it is on a committee, in a new project that looks a little risky, or even to give a customer a hand on a project that they are not able to pay you for. Sometimes when we take on one more project, we feel we keep giving and giving and nothing is happening. But that is NOT the case.
Here comes the magic…
While you are giving you are also growing both in experience and influence. The more you give, the more you get.
While you are sharing what you have of value, you are getting value too…
New skills you learn while working with others in your community or workplace.
Connections to other leaders who share the same passions and values that you do.
Recognition for your efforts and the value you contribute to the cause or project.
Visibility for yourself and your business
The opportunity to represent the organization in your community
The chance you thought someone needed to give you. You did not need someone to give it to you after all. You gave it to yourself.
That’s the great thing about magic. It makes anything possible.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned…
Please join me with Lolly Daskal and the gang on the #LeadFromWithin Tweet Chat this Tuesday (February 15, 2011) at 8 PM EST.
This is my chance to volunteer and help lead the discussion with a group of wonderful people from around the Twitterverse on how to #LeadFromWithin. Lolly and I talked about it and decided that exchanging ideas on what happens to us as leaders when we volunteer was a perfect topic for the day after Valentine’s day. I hope you will volunteer to join us, roll up your sleeves and show us what YOU can do by adding your ideas to the tweet chat discussion. It’s easy to do and free of charge. Just sign in with your Twitter ID at www.TweetChat.com at 8PM EST on 2/27/2011. Put in the #LeadFromWithin hashtag at the top and when I post a question – share an answer. See you then.
Joan Koerber-Walker is a two time Stevie Award National Finalist and Chairman of the Board of CorePurpose, Inc. and the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation. She also serves as Executive in Residence for Callaman Ventures and on the boards of for profit and nonprofit organizations. As the former CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association and a past member of the Board of Trustees of the National Small Business Association she has worked with hundreds of small businesses and on behalf of thousands. Chat with her on Twitter as @joankw, @JKWgrowth, @JKWinnovation, @JKWleadership and@CorePurpose or at her blog at www.JoanKoerber-Walker.com.
Back on January 9th, I shared a story about how we all got a wakeup call when shots rang out on a sunny Saturday morning in Tucson, Arizona. After that day, as a nation wondered, waited and prayed, a group of friends were sharing ideas on what could be done to remember the fallen, bring the community together and begin the healing process. The result is a new collaborative project called The Healing Trees Humanitarian Program.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
I think I was about Christina Taylor Green’s age when I first read “TREES” by Joyce Kilmer. Like trees, people gain their strength from the world around them. They hug the earth, draw nutrients from it, and reach for the sun. They often stand together, but they can also stand alone. They put down roots, grow, and give back in many ways. There is something both magical and mystical about a tree.
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
“Trees” by Joyce Kilmer at Bartleby Online
Healing Trees Humanitarian Program: “Heal Our Communities, Offer Remembrance and Celebrate Life.”
Less than one month later after the Tucson shootings, the project has launched and is growing daily. Beginning on February 14th, Arizona Statehood Day, The Healing Trees Humanitarian Project will plant trees in Tucson and Phoenix and many additional locations throughout Arizona, the US and around the world. In the process they will be bringing communities together and demonstrating a shared desire to be to be instruments of peace, understanding and compassion in our communities. (You can see the growing list of locations at www.healingtrees.org.)
Each time a healing tree is planted there is a ceremony to…
- offer a remembrance to those who died or were injured in Tucson.
- create a lasting symbol of new life in our community
- Create a unified moment for each of us to reflect on how we will choose to be instruments of peace, compassion and understanding with ourselves and with others
Participants come back together again 11 months later to hold themselves accountable and to reflect on how they acted as instruments of peace and will continue to do so.
Recording the Tree Plantings
In addition to the individual trees and the gatherings when they are planted, the GPS coordinates of each tree will be recorded and tracked on the Healing Trees website and will include each Healing Tree’s story, its donors’ experience, intentions and ceremonies. This allows the participants and others to visit whenever a boost of inspiration is needed and will provide stories of what we and others are doing to create deep and lasting roots.
It started on January 8, 2011, but it does not end there…
Annie Loyd of The FUSION Foundation put it like this:
“As a direct response to the incidents of January 8, the Healing Trees Humanitarian Program: “Heal Our Communities, Offer Remembrance and Celebrate Life.” was created. The FUSION Foundation, the Arizona Community Tree Council and Tucson Clean and Beautiful are working together to heal our communities, offer remembrance, and celebrate life with the planting of Healing Trees across the state and across the country. Healing Trees are a visual life-giving memorial commemorating the lives of those who died, honoring those who were injured and paying tribute to the outstanding actions of forgiveness, compassion, understanding, kindness and love we witnessed in the wake of the tragedy by so many in the Tucson community. This is our time to do something significant to celebrate life and promote new growth- like planting trees. Through this a life-giving and earth-serving community act, together we can make a difference.”
Leading by Example
On January 27, 2011, I shared the stories of big companies and caring individuals who are leading by example. The Healing Trees Humanitarian Program is yet another one. It was born out of tragedy and a shared desire to respond with an act that would not only honor those who died or were injured but also to provide a visual support to their families, neighbors, friends and strangers whose lives changed on that fateful day. It is the work of people coming together to proactively create a stronger community that is committed life, growth and collaboration.
We each have opportunities to lead by example.
Sometimes we create them and sometimes they find us. We lead by example when we…
- Share our talents and experience with others to solve a problem or move a project forward.
- Help someone else achieve their goal.
- Take action to bring change…instead of just talking about what’s wrong.
- Or maybe simply take this opportunity to become part of a community of caring people who will each plant a healing tree somewhere in the world. To learn more about how to participate, click here.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay Tuned…
About the Joan:
An entrepreneur, author, speaker and corporate advisor, Joan Koerber-Walker’s journey has spanned from corporate America to entrepreneurship and non-profits as well as to community leadership and into the halls of Washington D.C. Her past career includes two decades on the team at Avnet, Inc. and service as Chairman of the Board of Advisors to Parenting Arizona. Today, she serves her community as the Chairman of the Board of the Opportunity through Entrepreneurship Foundation and as an advisor to The FUSION Foundation and The Healing Trees Humanitarian Project. To learn more about how CorePurpose and the CoreAlliance can help you grow your business in 2011, you can contact her by clicking here.
CorePurpose is a registered trademark of CorePurpose, Inc. CoreAlliance is a service mark of CorePurpose Inc. All rights reserved
To learn more about The Healing Trees Humanitarian Program:
The Healing Trees Humanitarian Program is a collaboration led by The FUSION Foundation and founding partner the Arizona Community Tree Council and its southern Arizona partner Trees for Tucson | Tucson Clean and Beautiful.
- email: email@example.com
- Facebook: HealingTrees
- Twitter at @HealingTreesAZ
- website at HealingTrees.org
The funds are being managed by the Arizona Community Tree Council, a 501(c)(3) organization with more than 20 years of experience dedicated to the care and planting of trees and promoting the education and exchange of information about trees and the essential role they play in the well being of all Arizona communities.