We Trust Our Local Leaders | Message from our Board President about the power of community leadership during these times

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Leadership Springfield Alumni,

Springfield is not defined by our challenges, but by how we respond to these challenges.

Our latest challenge, the COVID-19 virus, has already presented our community with new challenges.  Our Healthcare system is scrambling to prepare.  Many of our businesses are already being negatively impacted by lost suppliers, cancelled events, and potential quarantines.  Our citizens are being asked to stay home when they are sick, even while many of them can’t go without lost wages.  Our nonprofits are working to respond and find replacement for lost revenue from cancelled fundraisers.  Our civic partners are keeping up with daily updates and contingency planning.   All of these entities described are heavily influenced by Leadership Springfield graduates working overtime.

Our community is in the process of deciding how we will respond and we need your leadership more than ever.

We can turn this into a political issue.  We can take sides between “we aren’t doing enough” or “we are overreacting”.  We can blame the media and the government.  We can blame businesses.  We can point fingers.  We can hoard toilet paper, hand soap and Ramen noodles.

Or…  we can help each other out.

Businesses can innovate and find ways to deliver value while keeping our employees employed.  We can partner with our civic leaders to balance our response and make the best decisions we can knowing that nobody has all of the answers.  We can support our nonprofits by volunteering and donating.  We can share what we have with those who don’t have it.

The truth is that there is a battle going on in every community between both a positive and negative response.  That is where we need your leadership!

Please encourage and highlight the positive response.  Don’t judge, collaborate.  Don’t panic, innovate.  Don’t point, help.  Don’t engage in rhetoric, hold thoughtful conversations.

It’s moments like these where community leadership will tip the scales.  This is your community and YOU get to decide how we will respond.   As one of our 2000 alumni of Leadership Springfield, it’s on you.  It’s on us.  Let’s show the world the best of what Springfield can be.

Leadership is all about influence.  How will you influence our community through this challenge?

Don Harkey, President
Leadership Springfield Board of Directors

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