Each year, I find it fascinating to read the biographies of our 40 new leaders. I certainly hope you take the time to do so yourself.

And when you do, look beyond more than just who you know or work with. Instead, envision the future of this area with these folks-and others like them-leading the way. It's a bright picture, especially when you consider that despite all these individuals have accomplished, there are more years of leadership ahead of them than there are behind them.

These 40 leaders were selected from 138 different nominations, making the selection task very difficult. That's reason enough to proudly report our businesses and homes reside in central Illinois-where leadership results in progress. Progress in our medical community, business growth, educational systems, technology, and service organizations.

Every year, I try to think of examples of leadership that may serve to guide the winners. Lately, few examples stand out as much as the 21 people who sought an opening on the District 150 School Board. The community owes them all a "thank you" for offering to serve. And to Dr. David Gorenz, who was selected to fill the open seat, we all wish you God speed.

I hope this group continually looks for and appreciates leadership examples such as that. Certainly, we can all hope that members of this group are the examples of tomorrow. In terms of advice, some highly respected folks have had interesting things to say.

"You manage things; you lead people."-Grace Murray Hopper

"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others."-Bill Gates

"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership."-Harvey S. Firestone

"The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in others the conviction and will to carry on."-Walter Lippman

"Good leadership consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people."-John D. Rockefeller

"Leadership is getting people to work for you when they are not obligated."-Fred Smith

"A good leader inspires others with confidence in him; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves."-Unknown

"Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve."-Tom Landry

"Leadership: the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."-Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall."-Stephen R. Covey

"Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy."-Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf

"Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it."-Marian Anderson

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."-Peter Drucker

"Good leaders make people feel that they're at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning."-Warren Bennis

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."-John F. Kennedy IBI