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Shoeleather Journalism
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Shapiro: Leadership in Scottsdale ought to reflect a holistic approach — not one guided by special interests

Photo of Scottsdale community advocate Gary Shapiro
Gary Shapiro

Op: leadership in Scottsdale is sacred oath to serve all

By Gary Shapiro | Point of View

New blood doesn’t need to draw blood.

We enjoy a talent pool of citizens willing to step up and become leaders in our community. Boards, commissions, nonprofits, and governmental entities can be made stronger with fresh ideas and new horsepower.

These new stewards of the community’s trust have an awesome and significant responsibility.

Hundreds of thousands of people are relying on their wisdom, statesmanship and consensus building abilities to keep Scottsdale in its enviable position as the best community to ‘live, work, learn and play.’

Yes, you may have been elected or appointed by some faction that share a certain agenda. You may have campaigned and made various promises in return for support.

But that’s changed.

You’re now representing 100 percent of our community, including the hundreds of thousands of citizens that may not speak up and are relying on you to be the steady hand on the keel.

Recently, there have been news storied about the “newbies” flexing their muscle and political clout. Recently, there have been news stories about elected officials aligning themselves with some people while ignoring others.

I find both to be objectionable.

I’d rather see news stories about our leaders and public servants thanking us for the privilege of being in a position to influence and guide our collective outcomes.

I’d rather see news stories and hear our leaders and public servants admit they’re new on the job but anxious to work with all stakeholders to get the best possible results.

Some people relish their role as being divisive. From my perspective, they are disruptors rather than builders. It takes no skill to tear things down. It takes a skilled carpenter and a team of craftsmen to build something worthwhile. Think about how much more we could accomplish if we all rowed in the same direction.

Some of our leaders appear to have egos that are way off the charts. Self-confidence is a worthy virtue, but there are limits. It’s been said you become an inspirational leader when you have the humility to build a team with people more talented than you.

It’s been said that an effective person should listen twice as much as they should speak.

In this vein, there are two types of people who seek or achieve public office or positions of authority and power.

One is someone who has a unique talent for getting votes and being elected. Regardless of their platform or qualifications, they can mobilize the vote in their favor.

The other is the person who has the unique talent for delivering good governance.

It’s very rare that someone is good at both.

If you seek to bloody things up, there are most certainly better options, techniques and strategies. If you really want to make a difference, be the good governance person. Otherwise, your days in the limelight will be limited and your “blip” on our long-term community’s radar screen will be faint or invisible.

Be a Hall of Famer not a Hall of Shamer.

Editor’s note: Editor’s note: Mr. Shapiro is a Scottsdale Charro, Realtor and co-founder of Scottsdale Leadership.

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