The Central Chamber Report: Economic Development – Leadership

By  | 

    We’ve been looking at the five facets of economic development that must be considered if growth is to continue to take place.  Those facets are: Workforce Education, Infrastructure, Leadership, Business Industry and Recruitment.     
    So far we’ve considered the aspect of Workforce Education and Infrastructure. In review, education in a community and economic development go hand in hand!  Education must exist that can prepare both the college graduate professionals and a highly skilled and in demand workforce.  The creation of a strong and vibrant workforce is essential to the economic development and stability of our region.  Commitment to infrastructure through the development of roads, sewer and water systems, communications, IT, schools, ports, and hospitals is vital to our future.  Failure to invest in infrastructure means a failure to sustain and develop our social and economic wellbeing.
    Now we turn our attention to the development of leadership.  Volumes have been and could continue to be written on this topic.  Leadership is the ability one has to have influence over individuals or organizations in order to lead them in a particular direction.  Leaders who can see the current circumstances, embrace responsibility, decide what must be done, and follow through with action are vital to the success of any organization.  Visionaries who can view the “current landscape,” look past the circumstances, see what will be needed in the future, and come up with a plan of action to secure that future are essential to economic growth and stability.  Without quality leadership, the development of workforce education and proper infrastructure, which we’ve discussed in previous weeks, cannot take place. Everything succeeds or fails on the shoulders of leadership.
    Over the last several years, Central has been blessed to have such visionary leaders at our disposal.  Thus we have The City of Central, The Central Community School System, The Central Chamber and an ever increasing commerce community.  As we continue to grow, the need for developing more visionary leaders must be met.  
    Programs such as Leadership North, LSU Mobile Classroom sponsored by the SBDC, and various other sources are available to our community.  Our local school system has implemented “The Leader in Me”, which is based on the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, in order to begin developing leadership traits in our young people.  The Central Chamber of Commerce believes strongly in these programs and is exploring the possibility of launching other leadership initiatives in 2016/17.  Producing future proactive and visionaries leaders who will be able to enter the areas of business, government and education will go a long way towards securing our future success in the economic arena.
Ron Erickson
President, Central Chamber of Commerce