Recently, I was asked to introduce myself to a group of local social service agencies on a Zoom call. Following the generic introduction of my name and job title, the icebreaker prompt was to share my “superpower” with the group. Without hesitation, I confidently announced that my super strength is bringing people together to convene over a common goal.
After more than 25 years in this industry, I am proud of my ability and track record of collaborating with others for the betterment of the communities I’ve had the privilege to serve. While I believe it is my superpower, I will be the first to admit that working with others is not always easy. It can be a time-consuming, redundant and mentally exhausting journey. However, in my experience, sitting in a room talking with people who care enough to fight for what they believe is best for their community is always worthwhile and has often helped me to find inspiration. Ideas, creativity and inspiration drive us as place managers, especially during trying times like the present. It can be challenging to be optimistic and envision a bright future beyond COVID-19, recession, and extreme political divisiveness. But by meeting people, sharing ideas and discovering common ground, you can find it.
I believe the reinvention of our cities and urban centers will start at the local level, with organizations like ours. To be authentic and meaningful leaders in this moment, we must be accessible, willing and ready to bring everyone to the table to start a conversation. I look forward to seeing everyone in Vancouver next month to share more ideas and be with those who inspire me the most, my fellow place managers.
Learn more about IDA’s 68th Annual Conference & Marketplace here.