By Tara Bitzan, Executive Director, Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
When you’ve spent your entire life in a community, you think you’d know all there is to know about that community. But that is seldom the case.
A person tends to develop a more focused vision dependent on where they are at with our lives. If you have young children, you may be in the know about all the valuable resources the community has to offer for young families. If you work in the health care industry or education field, you may be well versed on the community’s strengths in those fields, or perhaps you have a job that requires you to travel extensively throughout the area, so you are familiar with the local road systems.
But seldom are we in the know about everything that not only makes a community function, but also grow and prosper.
One of the things that has most impressed me during my time at the Chamber of Commerce is the number of high quality, skilled, knowledgeable, passionate professionals we have in our community.
What’s even more impressive is that most of these professionals are happy to share their time, talents and expertise beyond the doors of their businesses to make this a stronger community overall.
That’s not easy to do. In today’s fast-paced world, everyone is busy. It often feels like a struggle to get everything on your work and personal “to-do” list done, let alone find time to volunteer or give in other areas.
But people do it all the time, and research shows that those people actually are better off because of it. And so are the communities in which they live.
If you’ve thought about investing in your leadership abilities and in your community, please consider enrolling in the Leadership Alexandria program.
Sponsored by the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with West Central Initiative, the program has been developing local leaders for more than 20 years.
It’s for everyone – people new to the area and those who have lived here their entire lives; people just starting out in their careers to those who’ve made a recent career switch to those who’ve already worked their way up to the management level in their companies.
Each year’s class is a unique blend of ages, backgrounds, knowledge and skill sets, styles and personalities. And we have found that the participants learn as much from each other as they do from the program sessions.
The program, which runs one day a month from September through May, does require an investment of time and money. But there is a strong return on your investment for the participant, for the employer and for our community.
You will learn more about yourself and your leadership style. You will learn how to effectively lead others. You will also increase your professional network and enhance your understanding of the area, including its history, government entities, educational system, and business community.
We are currently accepting applications for this year’s Leadership Alexandria class. Details can be found here: https://www.alexandriamn.org/leadershipalex.html.