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Leadership Thought #354 – Get Engaged In Your Community

May 16, 2012

Free Three People Donating Goods Stock Photo

It’s important for everyone to get involved in their community but especially business owners/leaders.  No business operates in full isolation from its surroundings.  At minimum, you will want a friendly and cooperative relationship with your local public officials and community leaders. You will also want your employees to feel like they live in a place with a decent quality of life.  It is simple good business sense to be connected to and care about what takes place in your local environment.

I’ve been fortunate through the years to live in areas that have a vibrant downtown and engaged business community.  In my experience these two issues are far from mutually exclusive.  Some things in life aren’t all that complicated.  When talented capable people work toward a common goal, good things tend to happen. It’s quite comforting to show up at charity and/or community events and see that the business community is always well represented.  You end up seeing many of the same people and feeling a shared bond with them.

Many positive things happen when you get involved locally.  You’ll meet and connect with like-minded people.  You’ll get a chance to make a tangible positive difference in what happens around you.  You’ll ensure your voice is heard on topics that matter to you.  You’ll stay up to date on key community developments.  You’ll boost the local perception of your business and personal brand.  You’ll role model and your children regarding the importance of volunteering and charitable giving.  You’ll feel better about yourself and become a part of the solution not the problem.

The only advice I would offer is to not spread yourself too thin.  Once you get involved the opportunities will multiply and you will need to prioritize and focus your efforts.  It’s always preferable to focus on depth not breadth when it comes to your volunteering and philanthropic activities.  It’s more important to pick a few issues and strive to make a real difference rather than scratching the surface of too many issues.  Leadership is always about results not just activity.  You want to be known as someone in your community who cares, engages, commits, and delivers.