“Leadership is about vision. The ability to not just see a garden, but the ability to touch and taste the tomato.”
This was part of the inspirational message that former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith delivered to the 24 members of Eastmark Leadership’s inaugural class on Feb. 19.
In addition to vision, Mayor Smith shared other tenets of leadership. For example, good leaders are good learners, leaders understand change, and leaders are not afraid of change. But one of the most poignant points he made was about his role as a consensus builder.
“A vote of 4-3 is a negotiation. You can negotiate anything. Leadership is getting full support of everyone for your vision,” said Smith. “Real leadership is a 7-0 vote.”
Mayor Smith also reflected on the idea that leadership happens everywhere — at home, at work, at church, in your community.
“It’s not about a title, and everyone can be a leader,” he said. In a community where residents have an equal stake and shared responsibility, this concept is particularly meaningful. Eastmark Leadership participants will explore these themes and more during their 10-month journey.
Eastmark Leadership is the newest community initiative designed by the Community Life Team to meaningfully connect neighbors to one another and the greater community. Class topics will range from community and local governance to economic development to creating a sense of place. Participants will hear from elected officials, business experts, and leaders in a variety of industries that impact life at Eastmark and in the greater region. In addition, each class will feature lively discussion and activities, as well as a capstone class project.
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