As this magazine has now done for well over a decade, the November issue is dedicated to the young leaders of our community. The 40 Leaders Under Forty is a tremendous program recognizing the vital service of area citizens who’ve taken a community leadership role early in their professional career.
Every year, I’m amazed as I read the profiles of the most recent class of 40. The winners come from a wide range of professions, from non-profits to corporate giants, legal to recreation, and almost every industry you can imagine. In reviewing this annual list, though, it’s easy to see that the future of our community is in dedicated and capable hands.
Our community, and the entire tri-county area for that matter, has had a bounty of talented and tireless leaders over the decades. Community involvement and civic pride are, I believe, two hallmarks of this area of the state. People are committed to our community. And this year, we’re introduced to another set of 40 young leaders who will carry on our great tradition.
There’s been so much written and said about leadership, that sometimes it’s almost impossible to determine what exact qualities determine a leader. But just looking at the leaders profiled in this issue, one can certainly say leaders come from all types of backgrounds and experiences. I’m sure the leadership styles of these individuals come from different angles as well. Upbringing, education, friendship, employment—all of these components of a person’s life help play a role in leadership style. The one constant, though, in leadership is a person whose actions help lead other people to act.
One of the basic pillars of a good leader is making decisions with a moral approach to the situation. All of us make daily decisions based on our sense of right and wrong. In fact, our entire society is based on the rule of law; it’s based on knowing the difference between good actions and bad actions. True leaders live their lives with their moral compass pointed in the right direction, and, in turn, that attitude spills over to the decisions they make and how they treat other people. A person can’t go wrong in life by making the moral and right decision. Using a moral basis for your decisions and actions helps in the development of leadership. The 40 leaders profiled in this issue are certainly people who make those daily decisions based on their morals, and I congratulate them for their service and leadership.
I especially would like to thank InterBusiness Issues and all the sponsors who make this program a reality. Recognition of leadership and accomplishments is an important affirmation of our citizens doing the right thing. By recognizing 40 young leaders every year, I’m convinced this program encourages even more young people to become involved in their communities and volunteer for a wide range of activities. Congratulations to the 2005 class of the 40 Leaders Under Forty; I know you’ll be involved with our community for a long time. IBI