On August 30, 2023, a group of twenty-three alumni, representing classes from 1980 to 2023, gathered at the Lexington Central Public Library. Facilitated by Dr. Nicole Breazeale and Ruthie Caldwell, they embarked on a journey to explore the effects of this remarkable program, using an evaluation method that combines storytelling, mind mapping, group interviews, and qualitative data analysis. The purpose was simple yet profound: to map the chain of effects resulting from Leadership Lexington. You can read a detailed review of that experience here:
Now, months later, the final report is ready to be revealed - sharing the detailed ripple effects that Leadership Lexington has had on our community.
Here's a quick overview of the key findings. Leadership Lexington:
1. Promotes Diversity & Cross-Cultural Collaboration
Leadership Lexington has emerged as a beacon of diversity and inclusion. Classes are intended to reflect the diversity of our community, and for over a decade leadership has worked intentionally to make sure the environment is inclusive. Through open, honest conversations, it brings people from all walks of life together to learn from current leaders and each other. Participants connect on a human level and have been inspired to spark diversity initiatives in their workplaces. It's not just about discussing differences; it's about understanding, respecting, and making positive changes in our lives and in our community.
2. Stimulates Personal Growth
Our mission: “Challenge the Mind, Open the Heart, Enrich the Spirit” shows that this program is more than just a series of classes. It's a transformative experience that pushes participants beyond their comfort zones. It helps individuals become more self-aware and empathetic. Participants are able to identify personal strengths and learn how to work with others of varying strengths. Finally, through experiential leadership development in the class project experience, they have a platform to practice and develop skills to become better leaders, both in their organizations and in their lives.
3. Anchors Leaders to Community
Leadership Lexington fosters deep connections and bonds among its participants and alumni. It's not just a networking opportunity; it's a family. Participants often support one another during personal struggles, crises, and even when pursuing public office. It roots individuals in the community and makes them feel part of something bigger than themselves.
4. Helps Local Organizations Prosper
As participants grow personally and professionally, they share their new skills and connections with their employers, which in turn, strengthens local organizations. It boosts sales for businesses, provides access to high-quality job candidates or board members, and improves fundraising and volunteer recruitment for nonprofits.
5. Moves Leaders to Action
Leadership Lexington doesn't just create leaders; it inspires them to make a difference. Emerging leaders find their purpose and are empowered to put their energy into community causes that matter most to them. This program fosters an environment that helps turn ideas into action for the common good.
These impacts are tangible, far-reaching, and awe-inspiring, and they've given our community a sense of pride and commitment to staying right here in Lexington. Participants have not only benefited from this program; they've given back to our community in immeasurable ways.
As we move forward, we will use these results to continue growing and evolving the Leadership Lexington program. By focusing on what's working well and identifying areas for improvement, we can make an even greater impact on our community. This report serves as a roadmap for our future discussions and projects, all aimed at expanding the reach and influence of Leadership Lexington. Read the full report here.
Leadership Lexington is not just a program; it's a catalyst for positive change, a platform for personal growth, and a community of like-minded individuals working together for a brighter future. We are proud of what this program has achieved, and we're excited about the incredible potential it holds for the years to come.