April 10, 2012
Leadership Cincinnati USA: learning and action
Ron DeLyons commented that he began Leadership Cincinnati with “no idea that engaging would culminate in an enlightening rollercoaster ride that boarded with strangers and ended with trusted friends and allies.” Over the last 35 years, the region’s premier leadership development program has been turning strangers into trusted friends and lifelong allies. And right now we are forming Class 36 that will assemble on September 4, 2012 for the “The Call to Leadership.”
Active, hands-on learning is incorporated into everything we do. For example, last week, as part of the annual Human Services Program, class members traveled to 13 different social service agencies—everything from the Jimmy Heath House in OTR, into apartments of families seeking basic assistance from St. Vincent de Paul, to Centerpoint Health to talk with those accessing mental health services, to people at Cincinnati Works searching for employment assistance. One participant described her visit with three women who live in public housing in Winton Terrace and participate in a “Sisters’ Circle” as “alarming, inspiring, sad, scary, uplifting—an emotional roller coaster.” The experience left her with the question that we hope gets asked at the end of every session, “So much to work on in this community, where to start? Where can I make a difference?”
Leadership Cincinnati is focused on four themes: community leadership, thinking and acting regionally, developing a regional culture of innovation and bridging the social and economic gaps that divide us. The monthly programs allow participants to get places that would otherwise be closed—inside a patrol car for a ride along with a Cincinnati police officer, into the research labs at Children’s Hospital Medical Center, as well as invitations to sit in on practices of the Symphony, May Festival, Ballet and Ensemble Theatre.
One of the most powerful experiences takes place as part of the Inclusive Leadership program in February. On Friday evening, participants attend one of eight themed dinners. This year, one group sat down with three poor immigrant families at Su Casa in Cartage, while another ate dinner with homeless men and women at City Gospel Mission in Over-the-Rhine.
In addition to nearly 100 presenters each year, every month Leadership Cincinnati arranges the opportunity to engage established outstanding community leaders in a “Leadership Conversation.” Over the last year that has included conversations with Jim May, the CEO of Mercy Health Care; Candace McGraw, the CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Airport; Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig; Ed Rigaud, the CEO of EnovaPremier; Bob Wehling, retired P&G executive who now is a national leader in educational reform; and Jack Rouse, President of the Music Hall Revitalization Company.
Leadership Cincinnati is also about taking action to improve our community. Every participant is a member of a project team dedicated to moving the community forward. Over the years that has produced the nationally acclaimed Crayons to Computers and the Charitable Pharmacy at St. Vincent de Paul. This year, one of the teams prepared a $100,000 grant proposal in conjunction with the City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County and the Cincinnati Business Committee to move local government towards greater collaboration. Another team has created a way to use twitter to promote our region (look for CinciBuzz at the Big Pig Gig), while a third team is working on food deserts.
Each year Leadership Cincinnati seeks to assemble a class of 52 to 54 highly successful men and women who will reflect the diversity of perspectives in our community. That means we are looking for entrepreneurs as well as executives of mid and large corporations. We want doctors and accountants as well as those who head not-for-profit agencies in both the human services, education, artistic and cultural fields. We look for elected officials as well as public administrators. We want residents of Northern Kentucky, Butler, Clermont and Warren Counties as well as Hamilton County. And we want Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims and immigrants. The goal is to create the most impactful experience possible, and a variety of voices in the class helps move us to that goal.
Information about the program, including the dates of all sessions can be found at www.leadershipcincinnati.com. To apply, download the application. The completed application is due by close of business on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
If you have questions or would like additional information, please call Dan Hurley at 513.579.3141 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.