Leadership Competencies

Country & Community

As we brace to celebrate our national independence I will ask that you all oblige me as I go off script with commentary that is highly personal.

I live in Santa Clarita, a sleepy suburb of Los Angeles. My friends in the city mock our little enclave of 175,000, because it seems so remote, and vanilla. While our little community may be light on clubs and tattoo parlors, it is rich in something else…soul.

We recently we learned we lost one of our own;  U.S. Army Spc. Rudy A. Costa was killed in Afghanistan. He was 19.  He is not the first from our village to give his life to his country. And like the other times, the community celebrated his life. 5,000 lined a packed funeral procession, children adorning hand written signs and holding miniature American flags.  800 packed into a little church with hundreds more watching on televisions outside. Stoic soldiers from past wars openly wept.

I want to live in a place where I know my neighbors, and they know me. The business community here is so tight knit that you can’t go to a restaurant or a business function and not see droves of people you know. That is the way it should be.

There are times that we need to take a minute and remember that our business colleagues and our employees all want to be part of something bigger than they are. During the funeral, I took note that some employers in town sent their employees to honor their lost hero. Those are some business people with perspective.

We are also reminded that there are things we should believe in above and beyond making a profit. We need to send a message to others that we value our community, and we need to make investments within it.

Unknown to most Americans, professional golfer Ryo Ishikawa is also 19, not even old enough to order a cocktail. But this young man of uncommon maturity understands his community.  In an unprecedented gesture, he has pledged his entire earnings for 2011 to the relief effort in his native country, Japan…every nickel!

I am going to be rooting for Ryo this year (I don’t even know how to pronounce that, but I am going to learn). And of course I will be thinking about Rudy Costa and his family over the 4th of July weekend as we celebrate our independence and those who have fought to protect it. Support your community, you will get your investment back in spades. Happy Independence Day.

Article Originally Featured on : https://optimizeinc.net/icblog/2011/04/08/community/

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rezlab/718204444/

Category: Leadership Competencies


Marc Emmer About the Author: Marc Emmer

Marc Emmer is President of Optimize Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in strategic planning. Marc is a sixteen-year Vistage member and a Vistage speaker. He has he…

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