Definition of Leadership May be Different

Jimsi Kuborn, VP of Investor Relations
Jimsi Kuborn, VP of Investor Relations

Leadership does not come from your title or tenure. In my experience, a leader is a person who has a vision, can inspire others around that vision, build trust from a team to execute the vision, and also be willing to evolve and accept honest feedback.

This year I am one of several hundred participants in the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Rockford Leadership Alliance program (honored to have my participation sponsored by Thayer Lighting). This program is a year-long leadership development curriculum that centers on TRUST and concepts from Stephen M.R. Covey’s The Speed of Trust. If you reflect on past situations where you felt there was a gap in leadership, it probably caused erosion in one of the most important factors any leader needs to be effective – trust.

I will complete the program December 1st with additional problem solving and critical thinking skills as well as a new network of peers and mentors from which, I can approach for additional insight. This curriculum also provided applications where we were able to build healthy habits to be more effective and establish clear expectations of those on our team. This allows for implementing a vision more effectively. One particular element that I appreciated was improving my own process for effective and transparent complex conversations. In addition to my own definition of leadership, a few other items stood out to me during this program; that leaders have the core values of being genuine, transparent, and humble. Leadership really is serving!

In this course, participants collected confidential feedback from peers, supervisors, and direct reports. I have taken many self-assessments like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ® over the years, however it was extremely insightful to open up to insight beyond a supervisor’s performance review. I am always humbled by personal notes and comments I have unofficially received throughout my career. Although, I can honestly say that through this more structured review, my assessor’s points on this survey were valid on all spectrums. I agreed on the assessor’s feedback where I have opportunities to grow. I am up for the task and want to be more and more effective as I progress in my career. This experience has been rewarding and fulfilling, has provided insightful pieces to draw from, and established new relationships with people I can reach out to when circumstances necessitate outside advice.

What do you see in a leader, who is a leader in your life? In my experience, they have all types of roles in our community. We all know those unsung heroes, the ones who inspire us and draw us in to be part of their vision. Think outside of the norm when you identify leaders in your life. Look at your leadership skills and ask yourself what can make them even better.


by Jimsi Kuborn, Vice President of Investor Relations, Rockford Area Economic Development Council

This article was also published in The Voice.