“Leadership” is the difference-maker, it’s the X-factor, in life, at home, at work and in our community. 23 years with IBM including 13 in management taught me a lot, but surprisingly little about leadership. What I know I have learned during 27 years in my current business where I manage no-one but myself, in the churches where I have volunteered and on the board of the Eagle Chamber, where I also serve as a volunteer.

Last year, discovering the Vail Center’s Community Leadership Academy (CLA) was an exciting experience for me. I saw a program that was developed upon principles that I wholeheartedly endorse, and that places a high priority on not just classroom learning, but on practical implementation of those leadership principles, skills and strategies.

The Academy is already proven in our valley, with numerous individuals having already grown as leaders through the program’s roundtable discussion, group collaboration, and case study analysis. Here is one testimonial:

“This course demonstrated that your ethics are your personal brand whether you realize it or not. When you look inside and align your work with your values you get more satisfaction out of work and it makes life more meaningful,” Leah Cribari, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District.

Through the generosity and collaboration of the Vail Center, the Eagle Chamber has been able to sponsor this 7-month program for our members, in Eagle at a 50% discount. For just $625 participants will meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, starting in September, from 10am to 2pm with lunch provided. We are pleased to extend this same offer to Gypsum Chamber members.

This new version of CLA is the first to offer Leadership Foundations for Local Business: a set of universal leadership principles and leading practices organized around character development, skillful actions and relationship building. A significant premise is that leadership engages us in other people’s lives, and before inserting ourselves, all of us should know how to lead our own lives first.

CLA is an experience for individuals looking to enhance their leadership capabilities and connect with other business owners and like-minded professionals in Eagle County. Registration is now open for Eagle and Gypsum Chamber members; select ‘Eagle Chamber Session’ and enter scholarship code eagle50 to receive 50% off.

I am registered and look forward to seeing many of our members join me at the Academy.

Mick Daly, President, Eagle Chamber of Commerce, mick@dalys.com