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Leaders Matter. Aligning Philosophy with Philanthropy

Jim Morouse and 2017 Katherine Harvey Fellows

My bookcase is packed with books on leadership. From Dale Carnegie to Og Mandino to Peter Drucker… I’ve read and re-read these books over the years to (as Stephen Covey would say) “sharpen my saw” because I believe leaders matter.

I have had the experience of working at great companies that invest in leadership development, including Xerox, Procter & Gamble, and Disney. I have had the opportunity to take courses to improve time management, explore personality types and build strong teams, which all helped shape my personal management philosophy and made me a better leader.

While I was fortunate enough to work at companies that invested in young leaders, I find that most of today’s companies move too fast to develop formal training for their emerging leaders. Even in the social sector, most nonprofits move too fast or are too underfunded to invest in leadership training. I find this increasingly troublesome because, without leaders, where would our community be?

This is why I am “all in” on Leading from Within, a local start-up that is tackling leadership in new and innovative ways. I am a founding member of the board, a major donor to the cause and I co-teach one of the programs, the Katherine Harvey Fellows.

Leading from Within, which is led by Ken Saxon and Carrie Randolph, is building an incredible array of programs targeted at young leaders in both the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds that I believe has the power to transform the way we view leadership.

I am attracted to the deep, personal nature of Leading from Within’s programs and I am encouraged by the growing network of over 300 alumni, who are rising to major leadership roles in Santa Barbara County’s business community, nonprofit organizations and local government. They have proven through projects like the Food Action Plan, that they are positioned to tackle our community’s most persistent challenges.

I hope you have a chance to experience one of Leading from Within’s programs in action and to meet or mentor one of the leaders participating in their programs. Even if you do not, I hope you are encouraging yourself and others to seek out the resources to become a better leader because, in every sector and in every part of the world, leaders really do matter.

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