I once heard a poem written by Charles Franklin Benvegar, titled “Builders and Wreckers” and I’ve kept it in my desk drawer ever since. It goes like this….”As I watched them tear a building down, a gang of men in a busy town. With a ho-heave-ho, and a lusty yell, they swung a beam and the side wall fell.
"I asked the foreman, 'Are these men skilled, and the men you’d hire if you wanted to build?' He gave a laugh and said, 'No, indeed, just common labor is all I need. I can easily wreck in a day or two, what builders have taken years to do.'
“And I thought to myself, as I went my way, which of these roles have I tried to play? Am I a builder who works with care, measuring life by rule and square? Am I shaping my work to a well-made plan, patiently doing the best I can? Or am I a wrecker who walks to town content with the labor of tearing down?
"O Lord let my life and my labors be, that which will build for eternity!”
Are you a builder or a wrecker? This poem reminds me of the long list of legacy leaders that have made a mark on this organization and this community as a whole. Those whom have left this place better than how they found it.
Leadership Catawba is a program is designed for individuals who are builders — those who understand the critical issues facing Catawba County and whom are invested and engaged in creating and executing solutions, as opposed to those who prefer to passively sit back in their seats, observe and criticize.
We are proud to announce the 2020-2021 Class of "Builders” in this week’s Sunday edition of the newspaper. Times such as these truly bring to light the critical need for community leaders who are informed, engaged and resilient. Fostering a pipeline of individuals from business, government and nonprofits who are aware of all aspects of Catawba County — our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats — and who accept the challenge to go forth after graduation and make a positive impact within an area in which they are passionate. Program and monthly session adaptations are being made per the pandemic, but the value and quality of experience will remain unchanged.
Each of the six program months, Reinventing Community, Telling Our Story, Building for Jobs, Workforce Connectivities, Serving Our Community, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship, align with our Chamber strategic priorities and initiatives. Additionally, each participant will be challenged to organize and execute a group project that directly addresses a critical issue our county is facing to leave a sustainable impact. Other features of the program include 16 hours of situational leadership training with professional consultants and various subject experts, an extensive personal Leadership Assessment and analysis, and a team building retreat. The program will conclude with a special graduation luncheon where each participant will receive a diploma.
Please help us congratulate this strong, dynamic and eager line-up of leaders as they being this journey on behalf of our community.
Lindsay Keisler is president and CEO of the Chamber of Catawba County.
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