Monthly Archives: March 2013

Leadership: A Measurable Competency

The following article was written by Chamber Board Member, Patrick Malone of The PAR Group.  In this article, he shares a valuable lesson in leadership.

For decades, experts have said that leadership is an intangible that is un-measureable. But if you look at any great leader, you see that leadership is clearly measurable. Leaders are determined by their followers. No followers. No leader.

In business, leadership occurs at all levels – from the executive suite to the shop floor – and at every level in between. Influential leaders, no matter what title they have or role they play, are those with willing followers.

Leadership is merely getting wholehearted followers for a given course of action. Unfortunately, too many potential leaders ignore followership and focus instead on being more engaging, more convincing, or more interesting. Successful leaders, on the other hand, are interested.

In the extreme, unsuccessful leaders rely on their positional and/or economic power and end up with followers that have agreed, complied or surrendered. This lack of wholehearted commitment never results in optimal business results.

Whole-hearted followers imply leaders have engaged their followers emotionally and intellectually – both in the heart and in the head. Whole-hearted also implies that the follower makes the decision. The follower is the one who decides to give his or her commitment.

Most successful people start their leadership interactions by establishing a common goal. Leaders understand the difference between goals and strategies. Goals are always outcome-oriented, starting with the end in mind. Strategies are plans a leader has for reaching the desired outcome.

Once a common goal has been established, successful leaders follow and connect with their potential followers before taking the lead and inspiring higher, more motivated points of view ending with co-owners of the goal and a commitment to optimal business results.

Successful business leaders join and actively participate in the Blairsville/Union County Chamber of Commerce. For more information on joining the Chamber, please contact our Membership Coordinator, Robin Story at 706-745-5789 or register online at

Introducing… Blairsville Connect

While some of you are probably already familiar with the concept of podcasting, others are probably reading this and thinking pod-what?  Don’t worry.  It was not until just a few weeks ago that I was fully introduced to the unique world of podcasting and already I am receiving daily inspiration as well as brushing up on my Spanish.  So what is a podcast?  A podcast is similar to a radio program in that it is a broadcast; however, they differ in that a podcast is an online, prerecorded radio program over the Internet that consists of audio or video files.  The format can be anything from audiobooks and poetry to sports commentaries and more.   The word Podcast is derived from the terms ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’.  There are a variety of programs in which the episodes are delivered online and the topics are unlimited and can satisfy almost any inquisitive mind.  Because the Chamber has always desired to introduce and utilize the latest technology, in manageable doses of course, we are proud to introduce to you – Blairsville Connect – a podcast series.

Our recently launched podcast program is a lovely blend of business support and business development.  Each week the Chamber will introduce you to a different business leader in our community.  These short but relevant interviews offer the opportunity for listeners to “meet” a local business or community leader and gain valuable insight on a variety of topics.  Past guests have included Chad Lariscy with The Mountain Life Team who shared insight regarding “Our Future In The Housing Market” and James Wood, owner of The Aviator Cafe, who discussed business strategies and branding for small business.  You can hear past and future episodes by visiting  For the more tech savvy readers, our podcasts will also be available on iTunes.  No matter which way you choose to listen, we hope you will plan to join us each week and connect with the people who make our community so great.

Blairsville Connect is a collaborative effort of Ben Boykin with Emergent Interactive and the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce.  If you would like to learn more about podcasting or have a particular topic you would like us to discuss, please contact the Chamber at 706-745-5789 or me directly at

Dreaming of Ireland?

I’m going to start this week’s column in a way that I never advise anyone to start a column – with the mission statement of our organization.  But bear with me, I am going somewhere with this, and you’re going to like it.  This mission of the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce is to positively impact our community and members by facilitating tourism, economic, and cultural development. I repeat tourism, economic, and cultural development.  Most people get the tourism and economic part, but what have we done for cultural development and why?  I’m glad you asked.

A quick Google search of why cultural development is important to our society will give you a lot more information than I am able to do here, but the point is, by broadening and expanding our horizons, challenging our perspectives, and forcing ourselves outside of our proverbial box, we begin to engage our mind in ways that stretch our imagination and most always reap great rewards.  With this belief in mind, the Chamber has just announced our next great cultural development opportunity – Ireland 2013!

Irish Splendor is an upcoming community travel trip offered by the Chamber in partnership with leading tour operator Collette Vacations.  The Irish Splendor tour departs October 30, 2013 for eight days. Spend a night in Ashford Castle, stroll along the streets of Dublin and experience old Ireland at its finest. Travelers will explore the Guinness Storehouse, Ireland’s number one attraction; travel to Dingle Peninsula, and view one of the world’s most beautiful coastal routes; stand in awe of nature’s power on the Cliffs of Moher; experience a sightseeing tour of Dublin with a local guide, including O’Connell Street, Grafton Street and Phoenix Park; and enjoy an evening of fun and Irish music at a local Dublin pub.

Chambers of Commerce throughout the State and beyond are realizing the value of group travel as a means of community development.  Strengthened partnerships, eye-opening experiences, and an opportunity to step away from the day-to-day are just a few of the many benefits.  I hope to see you on March 14.