As I travel the country for work, the positive comments keep rolling in Ė from colleagues and strangers alike Ė regarding how Indianapolis nailed it as host of Super Bowl XLVI. Some point to the zip line or the downtown village, but nearly everyone says something about Hoosiers being so doggone nice.
Itís true, we are nice. But, it goes much deeper than that and in many ways it rolls up into a leadership style that defines us. When we are at our best, we are a community that puts the needs of others ahead of our own personal interests. Sure, thatís nice. But, itís also a style that our civic leaders have embraced over the years to effectively keep our neighborhoods, our cities and our state moving forward.
This servant leader approach has treated us well and we are fortunate to have local groups like the Stanley K. Lacey Leadership Series, the Rotary Club of Indianapolis, Giving Sum and others working hard to foster this style in our community. Service is a vital ingredient in our regional secret sauce and these groups do a great job exposing individuals to this incredibly rewarding approach to life and work.
One of the most well regarded training grounds and launching pads for servant leaders in our region continues to be the Stanley K. Lacy (SKL) Leadership Series. Earlier this month, the application period for the next SKL class opened and hundreds of individuals from around central Indiana are now vying for the 25 coveted slots that will comprise SKL Class XXXVII.
Itís a competitive program and a quick scan of past SKL class rosters reveals a strong and diverse team of leaders dating from 1976 to today including: Amos Brown, Mark Miles, Brian Payne, Susan Brock Williams, David Lewis, Sally Bindley, Marty Posch, and many more. The Series is also known for having exceptional moderators and a few of those leaders over the years have included: Bart Peterson, Jim Morris, Martha Lamkin, Joe Slash, Roland Dorson, Teresa Lubbers and several others.
I was fortunate that my employer invested in me a few years ago and encouraged me to apply to the Series. The program was rewarding on many levels and it connected me with a fantastic network of people who are passionate about building upon the strengths of our community and serving the region for decades to come.
The next SKL class begins in September, but the application period ends on Monday, April 23. So, area businesses and not-for-profits are encouraged to push their best and brightest to get involved. Applicants must be between the ages of 25-45 and there are various other requirements associated with participation that can be found online at the SKL Leadership Series web site.
There is no denying that central Indiana has a momentum behind it right now that is the envy of other metro areas around the country. Our energy comes compliments of a long line of strategic servant leaders that have put the community first time and time again. Now, as we look beyond the Super Bowl, itís time to arm emerging leaders in our region with the tools that theyíll need to keep us moving in the right direction.
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