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Addressing the State of Minnesota's Leadership

GovernorDayton.jpgFollowing Minnesota Governor Dayton's State of the State Address on February 6th, CIL Director Laura Bloomberg spoke with the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Lori Sturdevant on the sort of leadership we need now, in Minnesota and the nation.

Sturdevant's resulting column, captures the following reflection from Dr. Bloomberg:

"Governing this state is a shared responsibility. It's not about [him] winning at all costs...The times absolutely cry out for that kind of leadership."

Sturdevant calls out a few of the pressing challenges Minnesota faces currently including "an insufficient supply of skilled workers, increasing poverty and income inequality and rapid climate change." CIL recognizes these as grand challenges. They have significant consequences for the well-being of societies. They are rapidly evolving and highly complex, putting them beyond the resources or knowledge of a single discipline, organization, or sector to address. In fact, single-sector actions to address these challenges often precipitate unintended - and potentially harmful - consequences.

Our support of individuals and communities addressing grand challenges across Minnesota is amplified by our partnership with institutions such as the Bush Foundation. In a recent article in the online magazine The Line, the Bush Foundation's new head of leadership, Lars Leafblad spoke of the nature of leadership that produces "integrative solutions":

"Connectedness is a philosophy. It's a world view. It's a belief that to get things accomplished requires partners. It requires networks collaborating and moving forward...we have big problems that require integrative solutions. Those problems will require leaders who are not only comfortable with this notion of connectedness--with multisector and multipartner approaches--but who practice that notion in how they see and engage with the world."

As Leafblad articulates, developing the capacity for this sort of leadership requires both exploring the worldview and then practicing it with courage and resilience. CIL proposes a set of practices that characterize integrative leadership. However, Governor Dayton cannot alone embody these practices and expect to produce more integrative solutions for the State.

CIL proposes that acts of leadership flow from person to person. When viewed this way, acts of leadership that address grand challenges become everyone's responsibility and everyone's opportunity. They are the responsibility of all our elected officials, but also of our business, nonprofit, public and academic leaders - not to mention the many informal community leaders who look out for public good day in and day out. We appreciate the opportunity to reflect on Governor Dayton's leadership, but also call all residents of Minnesota to see their leadership as crucial to addressing our State's grand challenges.

You can read the full Feb 9th article by Lori Sturdevant by clicking here: Dayton's Leadership Style: Right for the Times?

Image courtesy of GovernorDayton on Flickr.

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