Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

Breaking Down Barriers

Roger Bannister

Roger Bannister

History is replete with examples of things that cannot be achieved, barriers that are imposed, unthinkable achievements… and then someone or a group of people come along and break down those self-imposed barriers.     Roger Bannister breaking the four minute mile, wiping out polio, landing on the moon, the sit ins at the lunch counters in Greensboro and Rock Hill are all examples of individuals daring to ignore the barriers.

Rare is the instance when a politician crosses over party lines to create legislation in a bipartisan effort.  The elected official who looks past the district, county, or municipal boundary that separates their constituents from their neighbors.  Bureaucrats who cannot see outside of the box when it comes to managing in a way in which they are not schooled or accustomed.  However, when that occurrence comes along, that individual ignores what others say cannot be achieved, the politician shows political courage – they become a leader and we advance as a society, a community, a region.

Several weeks ago town officials from the three Northern Mecklenburg towns gathered for dinner with officials from Mooresville.  They discussed a myriad of issues from transportation to economic development.  It is not the first time the elected officials from the four Lake Norman towns gathered together.  However, this particular meeting was profound.  It set in momentum dialogue which could have major impacts on our businesses and residents.   Perhaps at no time in the history of our communities have we had elected officials who were more “regional” thinking in their approach to issues facing the growth of our area.   It has been pointed out countless times by many of them that the issues facing one lake community is also common to the other three.

Lake Norman Sunset

Lake Norman Sunset

Partnering with our lake communities on transportation, economic development, land use, arts and culture, and travel and tourism would give the towns influence and strength to effect legislation, attract a broader base of tourism events, and offer greater economic development incentives than ever before.  Such a partnership would be great for the communities, great for the region, and great for business development.  However, crossing county and municipal boundaries takes real political courage.  Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said, “Leadership is getting your people from where they are…to where they have not been.”

Our communities are fortunate to have  elected officials who see the unbridled opportunities of the future.  Who, like the Roger Bannisters and the leaders of the Civil Rights movement, set their sights on their objective, and go where others have not been…and the rest of us follow.  And that is the essence of leadership

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March 13, 2009 - Posted by | Chamber of Commerce | , , , , ,

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