A few years ago, I saw in the distance a large group of people walking in my direction. They all were wearing the same tee shirt except for the lady in front who was carrying a clip board. As I got closer, I saw that the lady was wearing clothes with a Johnson Bank or other Johnson company logo on it. The people behind her were wearing Leadership Racine shirts. I was amused as I thought that these future leaders looked like dutiful followers to me.
I can agree with Leadership Racine in that we need leaders in the Racine area. But I have my doubts about this program.
Leadership Racine Advisory Board Chairman David Maack touted the program in today's Racine Journal Times. "The mission of Leadership Racine is to build community trusteeship of strong, diverse and knowledgeable leaders." This is done through a nine month program consisting of an orientation retreat, exposure to current community leaders, visits to non-profit agencies throughout the community, and group work on a sustainable project. Noteably absent from this program is any assessment, challenge, or criticism of our current leaders and or the paths they have taken thus far.
I do think that Leadership Racine participants have had some positive accomplishments, some of which were noted in the JT article. However, what is missing in my view is any evidence that the existing leaders in Racine, such as those that initiated Leadership Racine, are looking for anything other than followers to continue in their footsteps.
Racine does need leadership, that is for sure. But a leader must be willing to stand alone and to challenge the status quo. I see no evidence that Leadership Racine participants are being trained to do so.