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Five Keys to Leadership You Won't Find in a Textbook


How do you create the first self-funded city office in the country, save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars through sustainability initiatives, line Pikes Peak avenue with trees and hay bales for a day, and convince an entire community that what you’re doing makes sense?   Embrace your creativity/innovation and open the hearts and minds of the people around you. Recently, Nick Kittle and John Olson, two young, innovative, and driven local leaders discussed their work in the community and their concept of leadership with a group of 42 university students at the 2012 fall Student Leadership Experience.

Kittle and Olson emphasized several leadership characteristics you won’t find in a textbook:

  1. Shine by letting others shine.  Enthusiasm is contagious, and if you can inject your passion into other people’s ideas and enable them to act, the impact on a community can be enormous. 
  2. Lose the fear of failure.  You may recognize the failures you may encounter, but choose to focus instead on succeeding.
  3. Be passionate or go home.  Change doesn’t happen by being unsure or partially committed.  Passion drives improvement and transformation. 
  4. It’s the doing that matters.  If you’re not having fun you’re doing it wrong. 
  5. Take Risks. Make Decisions. Act.   Plans sit on shelves and talking about it doesn’t make dreams a reality.