Friday, October 21, 2011

The Week In Review - Economic Alliance, Indian Summer and Leadership

To start of my week in review, I'm still buzzing about my panel opportunity at the Economic Alliance meeting in Ignacio, CO. The event gave Durangoans and La Plata Countian's an amazing opportunity to connect with several business and government leaders in Durango, CO, and beyond. What a great meeting! My role at the meeting was on a technology panel discussion, the write up from LinkedIn is below... 
Nancy Wharton, Durango Space, did an excellent job of leading off the group with a few questions about the audience make up. Frankly, we were in a room of people eager to learn about technology. Then she passed it over to yours truly... My point: Durango needs a shared vision of how we want to bring/connect/amplify/support technologists and entrepreneurs in La Plata county. Basically, tech doesn't fit yet, but if we collaborate with each other, the city and the county we'll make our voices heard and the tech industry thrive here. Kelly Hebbard, FastTrack Communications, really spoke poignantly about support technology innovators with infrastructure. I was blown away to hear that using existing fiber networks and/or poles and pipes was a problem. You mean to tell me the infrastructure is there, but we aren't making it happen to support local IT demands!?!?! To follow that up John Skowlund, SBDC and Syndicom, really pushed for the fences with his discussion about the talent pool in our area. Where do companies find the "under employed", the "ready to be employed" and the "skilled, but already employed, but wanting to do something more with their excess capacity. I LOVED Mark Fei's discussion on the remote working possibilities in Durango! He brought up cloud computing, tele-commuting and the fact that DGO actually DOES have some infrastructure. We concluded with: what's the one thing you'll do to RAISE your voice to help Durango gain a vision, a tech vision... 
Afterwards the comments rolled in... County Commissioners came up and asked us to come to the table, more people want to join the tech group, people were sharing ideas and talking TOTALLY AGREEING WITH US! It was a great presentation... So to keep the momentum going, I put it out there: Durango Tech Group meeting November 10th at 6:00 PM at Durango Space!
Got to also hand it to our Indian Summer right now!!! It is that time of year when the leaves start to fall, but the days are crispy cool in the morning, but nice and warm during the day. I love this area... Mountain biking excursions galore are happening right now, as well as some hiking and running-type folks out and about. I'm psyched to see so many people out. But the real story is the new trail in Durango that I got to ride near Twin Buttes. What a great ride! Got to hand it to Daryl Crites for his killer flow trail line and XC climbs through the trees. He built in some great vistas as well as some historical riding on an old railroad grade. Be sure to also keep tabs on the Nighthorse Lake MTB trails; these trails are going to be world class! 

My final comment here concerns leadership. In thinking here, I started to ponder why so many leaders fail. Recently, one of my friend's companies went under. He explained to me that the engineer wasn't doing anything. When I asked my friend if his engineer was at it alone, he said yes. I found out later that the rest of the company was top-heavy and so the only person able to do the work was slammed, and not able to connect with other "peer" or colleagues. In a small company, what I've soon discovered is that leadership is recognizing when your employees actually need help! Many times we are so caught up in the moment of "thinking" and the grand vision that we don't actually remember the people who get us there. Leadership isn't just the doctor in the room, it is more akin to the nurse who checks your pulse and who you really confide in. Think about leadership this week as the grand pulse checker and not just the grand visioner. 

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