News from the Top

Top Executive Leadership Skills


The chief executive is responsible for maintaining the organization’s vision and strategy, hiring great professionals and finding the resources they need to be successful. Kate Joncas, the former CEO of Downtown Seattle provided me with this definition. And like Kate, I strive to remain guided by our strategic plan. We have worked hard to build an amazing staff team, and we consistently deploy resources toward our most pressing issues. And yet as simple as the definition may seem, many of you know all too well the chief executive role is also one of the most unique. Some would say the most isolated. At some point, an organization’s leaders will feel like they’re all alone out on a limb. There are times and places when they must make the decision or take the hit when only the leader can do so.    

I believe lifelong learning is a key to remaining a high-performing leader. Whether you are a Fortune 500 CEO, civic leader, local business owner or the CEO in a place management organization. The competitive landscape is constantly changing. Modern technologies are continually emerging – some presenting opportunities while others may prove to be threats. The environment we operate within continues to evolve, and disruptions must be navigated. So, where can leaders retreat to enhance their leadership skills and deeply investigate the challenges ahead amongst a trusted circle of peers?    

I am excited about our newest program, the IDA Executive Leadership Retreat. This new pilot program is modeled after the extraordinarily successful Emerging Leaders Fellowship program – but this time for CEOs and Executive Directors. Before the pandemic, IDA CEOs asked us to create an executive-level program. A program where participants could isolate, dig deep into the unique personal and organizational leadership challenges they face. While developing a peer network of trusted advisors for the future. Led by an expert facilitation team that knows our industry, this executive leadership program is the correct answer at the right time for IDA members looking to boost their energy, focus, and evolve quickly to address the challenges ahead.    

From the highest-level executive standpoint, the program focuses on building trust by providing effective feedback and critiques. While using recent technologies effectively, motivating and working well with diverse employees. The program will provide a range of perspectives on executive-level leadership and help you gain understanding and “buy-in” from teams. I cannot imagine a more substantial investment you can make in yourself, but more importantly in the organization you lead. I hope you take the opportunity and apply to be among the inaugural cohort of the new IDA Executive Leadership Retreat.