For the last couple of years, I’ve had the pleasure of presenting to Leadership Hendricks County. It’s a privilege working with this group. It’s filled with people wanting to be better people, leaders who want to improve their leadership skills, and folks who commit to taking action in the community. LHC is leadership in action

Who Is Leadership Hendricks County?

“A new class of 20 to 25 participants is selected each year from a list of applicants. In January, they participate in an Opening Retreat, at which they learn more about themselves, leadership styles, and the challenges facing the county. In addition, they are self-assigned to a Team Capstone project that addresses a current need.” — About Leadership Hendricks County.

People Taking Action

I appreciate how LHC takes action. They don’t just talk about what the area needs they make it happen. Since 1992 Leadership Hendricks County has been a mover and shaker in the county by adding action to their words. From 2000 to 2018 the county experienced a 60% population growth, which when compared to Indiana 10.1% and the USA 16.3%, is significant. Across the board, Hendricks County has grown. For example, the median household income is $75,647, unemployment is less than 3%, and the poverty rate is 5.1%. Leadership Hendricks County has been a major contributor to this growth. I cannot overemphasize that the key to LHCs success has been their commitment to action. You can’t talk stuff done. I asked LHCs Executive Director, Kerry Tuttle, for a few examples of the impact LHC has made.

Leadership in Action

  • One of the first Team Capstone projects completed by a group of LHC class members was an evaluation of the county’s 1993 Comprehensive Road Plan. The LHC group prioritized the construction of the proposed north-south corridor that became Ronald Reagan Parkway. Subsequent LHC classes advocated for the corridor as well and presented their findings to county and local officials. Several LHC alumni were involved as part of the elected officials Corridor Task Force in 2000. In 2005, an LHC class project involved a public awareness campaign that helped garner widespread support for the completion of the project.
  • The Hendricks County Arts Council was established as a result of a 2004 LHC capstone project.
  • In 2005, a group of LHC members explored the possibility of establishing at least one “junior college” (that was the term used back then!) program in the county, leading to the creation of Hendricks College Network.
  • The Hendricks County Food Pantry Coalition was created through a 2006 project.
  • The Hendricks County Parks Board was created after a study conducted by a group from LHC class of 1995.
  • Last year, a capstone group researched the need for a countywide mental health emergency task force. They presented their findings to the Hendricks County Mental Health Coalition, and in April 2019 the coalition sponsored a mental health crisis response team training provided by the National Organization for Victim Assistance. Those who completed the training (including me) are eligible to serve in the Hendricks County Medical Reserve Corps as crisis response team members.

There’s More

Kerry ended with this, “These are just a few examples of initiatives that have been championed by Leadership Hendricks County. As you can tell, I could go on and on…”

Here’s the thing, she could go on and on because Kerry and her team don’t just talk about what can be done to improve the county, they act! Kerry mentioned the Ronald Reagan Parkway in her first bullet point. That team Capstone Project alone helped to bring hundreds of employers and thousands of new jobs to the area.

 My Presentation

The last two years my presentation has been on conflict resolution. Both years I’ve I introduced myself and then shared my goal that every member of the leadership group choose one takeaway from the presentation to commit to acting upon.

I shared ideas about conflict resolution such as the Pinch Theory, Are You Using the Pinch Theory of Conflict Resolution?.

We discussed when corrective action was called for and appropriate.

I shared how to do a sandwich method critique, How to Critique Without Creating Animosity: The Sandwich Method.

We discussed what to do when working with someone is killing you. Next, I asked if it’s possible to make everybody happy, and then I shared actions that could be used to improve both situations.

One Takeaway

At the end of my 2018 presentation, I asked each of the 25 or so in attendance for their takeaway. They were enthusiastic and ready to act on their commitments. This year I talked too long and ran out of time to ask for their takeaways. However, after chatting with a few folks afterward I felt confident that they would take action. Besides that’s what this group does, they don’t just talk about what needs doing – they do it.

A Goal Without a Plan is a Wish

So, here’s what I’d like you, the reader, to consider. If I asked if your organization added action to your words could you say yes we do, or are you still talking about what needs done?

How Can I help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a  management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.