Andrews Institute, Leadership Wilson partner for Wilson County Power of One Conference
By Janel Shoun on 1/23/2012
Lipscomb University’s Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership joined Leadership Wilson to produce a day of collaboration for Wilson County leaders in the Power of One Leadership Conference Friday, Jan. 20.
The Leadership Wilson Power of One Committee invited the attendees which included county commissioners and the county mayor; the Lebanon, Mount Juliet and Watertown city council members and mayors; and local business executives and education leaders.
The group rode the Music City Star to Nashville and were welcomed by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean at the Riverside train station. Throughout the day, they engaged in discussions and group projects on Wilson County’s assets, collaborative leadership, finding common ground and empowering people through relationships.
The luncheon keynote by Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey focused on working together to strengthen both cities and the county.
“Cities and counties don’t have enough resources to fight each other. You need to pool those resources to accomplish something great,” said Ramsey, the former Hamilton County mayor who served during the revitalization of the downtown Chattanooga area and the effort to bring a Volkswagen plant to the county. He encouraged the Wilson County leaders to involve citizens in developing plans for the county.
The institute’s partnership with the Tennessee Association of Community Leadership led to the Power of One conference for Wilson County leaders. The idea to bring together Wilson County’s elected officials with business and education leaders to get to know each other on a personal level and to discuss common interests and goals came about through the 2011 class of Leadership Wilson. An initial Power of One luncheon was held in March 2011.
“We believe great communities are intentional, not accidental and we are committed to developing innovative ways to bring government, business and nonprofit leaders together in collaboration for the greater good of our community, region and state. The Wilson County Power of One conference is the perfect example of the type of collaborative, intentional leadership fostered by our founder, the late Nelson Andrews,” said Linda Peek Schacht, executive director of the institute. “We believe these daylong leadership events can become a model for community leaders statewide.”
The mayors of Wilson County’s four municipalities already regularly meet to discuss problems, ideas or just to chat, said Philip Craighead, Lebanon mayor, but the Power of One conference built on that camaraderie by teaching new ways to examine their own motivations and the motivations of their neighbor leaders. “Sometimes to make things move forward, you have to take a good look at yourself and how you make things happen,” he said. “It’s really good to get away and see this beautiful campus (at Lipscomb), and be with other leaders in a different, more relaxed context.”
“It’s remarkable that all our leaders will sacrifice this time to get to know one another on a personal basis,” said Randall Hutto, Wilson County mayor. “In all leadership, communication is the key. Now we know the people we are communicating with by face and name, not just as the other city council.”
“It’s helpful that there are so many people of all walks of life in Wilson County,” said Ed Hagerty, Mt. Juliet mayor. “Learning these personality profiles will really help us understand where anyone is coming from and their motivation, so we can look beyond our own viewpoint.”
Watertown Mayor Mike Jennings said he greatly enjoyed being together with everyone from Wilson County. “Once you know people better, you know how to approach them, you understand their interests better and what motivates them.”
Lucy Lee, leadership consultant, retired executive director of Leadership Wilson, led the discussions. In addition, Steve Joiner, director of the Institute for Conflict Management led a workshop on “Working Together as a Community: Resolving Conflict,” and Schacht led a workshop on “Finding Common Ground through Shared Vision and Goals.”
Jeff Gannon, a leader of the Power of One committee, closed the meeting with a thanks to the leaders for participating in the day and encouragement to continue the collaboration for the benefit of all Wilson County citizens.
Funding for the Power of One conference was provided by the Cracker Barrel Foundation and Leadership Wilson.
What people are saying about the Power of One Conference
“(The conference at Lipscomb) has given us a visionary way to get to a higher quality of leadership. I think we’re really all on the same page, and we just need to get in a room together and hear that we are all on the same page.”
Annette Stafford, Wilson County Commissioner
“Lipscomb has been just terrific. What (the institute) is helping us do today, is helping the people of Wilson County. I applaud (Lipscomb President Dr. L. Randolph) Lowry for reaching out to us to help us in this way. But where do we go from here? It’s up to us to do something with what we have learned today about ourselves and about how to interact among ourselves.
“I want to extend the opportunity to come together again and continue this process at Cumberland University.”
Dr, Harvill Eaton, president of Cumberland University
“This has been a great day and the beginning of great things for our county as we unify the three cities and the county as one and develop a unified vision, which we don’t have now.”
Randall Clemons, chairman and CEO, Wilson Bank and Trust
“I think it’s great we have an institution like Lipscomb that can offer their expertise and reach out to a county to improve its leaders and help the county reach its full potential.”
Randall Hutto, Wilson County mayor
About the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership
Founded in October 2010 to build on the legacy of Nashville leader Nelson Andrews, the Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership engages emerging and current leaders in programs to create thriving communities. The institute promotes and showcases government, business and not-for-profit leaders working together for the common good. Its programs provide for the study and practice of this collaborative civic leadership model.
Two recent projects of the Andrews Institute are the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy, undertaken at the request of the regional caucus of mayors and the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, and the Governor's Summit on Aging, convening private, public, and nonprofit leaders to collaborate to improve the lives of Tennesseans as they age and care for the aging.
Special thanks to Leadership Wilson Power of One Committee: