We’ve heard something interesting from a few people this week. The topic of leadership keeps popping up — and not in a good way. We’ve heard comments like “there is no leadership in Park City” and “we used to have strong people in elected positions where have they gone?”
The question is interesting but so is the timing. Why are we hearing this more now? What has changed … or have people’s perceptions changed? While we give our leaders a hard time, we understand that the job isn’t easy. Yet, because we are so close to the process, perhaps we have given them a pass on “leadership.” So we pose the question, IS THERE A LACK OF LEADERSHIP IN PARK CITY and SUMMIT COUNTY?
What is leadership?
Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.
Actually, there are a million interpretations of leadership but we like the one above from best selling author Kevin Kruse.
So, let’s think about big issues in the past couple of years in the Park City area. What were those? Traffic. Economic Diversity.Vail. Mountain Accord. Dogs. Parking on Main St. The PC CAPS building. Bonanza Park. Affordable housing.
We’d like to think of a big success in government and say, “yes, we have strong leaders, see what they did” but I’m not sure we can. We’re sure that decreasing idling times from 3 minutes to 1 minute doesn’t qualify. Nothing on the Mountain Accord seems to qualify. The failed holiday parking experiment on Main st. doesn’t qualify. Outcomes on traffic don’t qualify. We could go on.
On the flip side, one leadership success is Live PC Give PC. Maybe another is Recycle Utah? We could see those as leaders in the area of non profits. So, we have two.
Perhaps in the School System there is the beginning of leadership on a large scale? Only 9% of 11th grade Hispanic kids are competent in English and Superintendent Conley is pushing for all day kindergarten (which has been shown to help that issue). Yet, we are only at the beginning of that effort. As they say, the proof will be in the pudding.
Maybe the Bonanza Park redevelopment is leadership from the standpoint of trying to revitalize an area of Park City?Maybe?
Past that, we are frankly at a little bit of a loss. What big things have we left out where those people in city or county government or the education system have used their position to maximize others to achieve a goal? It can’t just be non-profits. We’d think there has to be one or two from the government side.
Maybe we are missing something or perhaps looking at leadership from too big of a perspective.
We wish we could write “Today Ms. ________ stood up and did THIS. She worked hard and got the people behind her. Together the people and government worked together to achieve something no one thought was possible and we are all better off because of Ms. _______’s leadership.”
Yet, we are at a bit of a loss. Is the Park City area at a loss too? Do we have great leadership or do we have people just driving the bus on cruise control.
After a little consideration, we think it’s a good question.