My Top Takeaways From Leadership Raleigh
My very first impression of my Leadership Raleigh class (LR34!) was one of intimidation. These people were legit. I’m talking wear-a-suit-to-work legit.
At our class orientation, I met three lawyers, a guy with something like 25 masters’ degrees and an SVP of a bank…in the first 15 minutes. “Oh, nice to meet you. I’m good at social media…”
But all of that intimidation and awkwardness is far behind us now. We’re a couple weeks away from our graduation, and it’s been an incredible ride. If you’re interested in being part of the Leadership Raleigh family, applications for the next class are due by June 15.
This program is more than worth it. It provides participants with the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with key community leaders, study the qualities that make an effective leader, and develop personal leadership styles/skills. And every aspect of the program points back to Raleigh!
Leadership Raleigh 34 in Review
Here’s a shotgun blast of my top takeaways.
Our group of 50 or so classmates was divided into eight project groups. While we saw everyone in our class once a month, my project group members were my ride-or-dies. And being placed on Team 5 is among the greatest things to have ever happened to me (right up there with getting married and witnessing the birth of my daughter).
I made some great connections with a lot of people in my class outside of TEAM 5, but a huge shout out goes to Martha, Pierre, Jason, Tom and Katye!
Raleigh gains 64 new people every day. EVERY DAY.
I’ve long been a Raleigh evangelist, telling all of my friends who live in other cities to get their hineys to Raleigh if they want to live happy, fulfilled lives. But I didn’t even realize how awesome Raleigh was until Leadership Raleigh.
People are flooding into our city unlike anywhere else in the country. We’re attracting entrepreneurs who want to be part of a vibrant startup scene. Major companies are setting up headquarters and branches here.
What this means for local business owners is opportunity. So many people are coming to Raleigh, and once they get here, they’re looking for their new favorite restaurant or brewery. They’re looking for their go-to car repair guy, dentist, grocery store, etc. Your business has the opportunity to attract these vagabonds before they’ve pledged their allegiance to some other brand.
People are yearning to volunteer and support nonprofits.
Throughout my experience in LR, I was struck with how many of my classmates told me they wanted to be involved with a nonprofit but either didn’t feel passionate about one or didn’t know how to get involved.
Nonprofits, there are people in this city who are longing to get involved with your mission, they just need to know you exist and how they can get plugged in. Investing time and resources in getting the word out about your organization is worth it!
If you’re reading this post and identify with the feeling of wanting to be involved with a nonprofit but not knowing exactly how to, hit me up. I’ll help you out. Or check out our client list to do some research on your own.
Setting the Raleigh budget is hard.
I know it’s easy to complain about taxes and a lack of funding for important programs and everything, but setting the Raleigh budget is super hard. One of the exercises our class went through was playing the role of City Council.
We were given the city’s budget and a seemingly endless list of requests for funding from the school system, area nonprofits, EMS, local government agencies and more. And every request seemed worthy of funding!
About halfway through the exercise, my group found ourselves making tough decisions on what to cut while debating over whether or not to raise taxes to pay for these programs.
There were several other interactive experiences that led to this same kind of eye-opening epiphany. Our poverty simulation and “Shoot or Don’t Shoot” exercise at the Highway Patrol Training Academy also challenged my perspective.
AB Combs is what education is all about.
When we arrived, we were greeted by the entire school. As we were guided to the library, students lined the hallways waving and smiling. They would walk up to us, shake our hands, look us in the eyes and introduce themselves.
Okay, so they have good manners. So what?
You don’t get it! Once in the library, about 15 students gave presentations to our group, teaching us about the values and core principles that serve as the foundation for their education at AB Combs. A six-year-old even presented. And all 15 students were better public speakers than I will ever be. Our entire group was blown away, and I’m already trying to get my 11-month-old there in a few years.
Employers, consider sending one of your employees through this program. They’ll meet incredible people who’ll make great business contacts. They’ll learn so much about our city and the resources available to them here. And they’ll pick up some great leadership insights to bring back with them.
– Seth Crawford, Digital Marketing Strategist