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leading small

brand-as-business bit:  “Leadership requires we do small things well.”

That gem was one of several I gleaned from Ron Kitchens‘ opening to Catalyst U, a conference I had the privilege of speaking at a couple of months ago.  (Other speakers included Cory Booker and Jon Acuff.)

Ron describes himself as “Father and Husband. Passionate CEO. Economic Developer. Author. Guru of all things Leadership. Cheerleader. Innovator. Learner.”  and he is indeed all of these things, as well as an inspiration.  His work as CEO of Southwest Michigan First, an economic development organization, has helped Fortune 500 companies as well as eight-person tool-and-die shops, biotech R&D labs, large business service centers, and more, so he knows a thing or two about leadership.  Here are some of his other wise words:

  • Leadership doesn’t have to be big to be relevant.”  — a great reminder that size doesn’t matter, impact does.
  • You are not defined by who you are today but how you react to situations.”  – an important corollary to the adage, “control what you can.”
  • There are no enemies — just opportunities that we haven’t come together around yet.” — At first this sounded a little Pollyanna-ish to me, but I realized that since so much of what we experience is shaped by expectations, this is a good way to think about conflicts.

This the final installment in my mini-series of takeways from Catalyst U — check out the other bits in the series:

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