NEWBERRY — “Able leaders focus on possibility, not negativity,” said Charles Weathers at the Cultivating Community event in Newberry Wednesday.
Weathers is founder of The Weathers Group in Columbia and came back to Newberry for the second part of the Cultivating Community to continue the momentum of people in Newberry working together to address and solve social issues challenges in the county.
Weathers came courtesy of the Newberry County Underage Drinking Coalition for the all day event which was broken into a morning session about Newberry and an afternoon session about leadership.
The focus of Weathers’ message was about the able leader which Weathers described as someone who focuses on the possibilities.
In a group activity, he also asked people what they thought of able leaders receiving responses including reliable, confident, open-minded, visionary, humble, etc.
“To make it a reality, you have to go somewhere with this,” said Weathers, “Here’s a concept, have you been in an environment with someone and they say what can’t happen? They see negatives. We started looking at high performing organizations moving forward and when a situation arises, they ask, ‘what are we able to do?’”
“Leadership effectiveness is the successful use of influence to produce a desired or intended result,” said Weathers who asked the audience, “How do you measure leadership effectiveness?”
He garnered responses such as “Your result is someone else’s result,” and “Movement is success.”
Weathers also warned that no answers will abound when the question is asked about leadership effectiveness.
“Sometimes when we ask that question, the answer will be no. That’s when the work begins. Let’s not be afraid to make mistakes,” said Weathers.
Weathers then segued into making a vision statement. He also talked about a mission and values as part of the leadership training.
As far as the vision statement, Weathers had the audience think of a bumper sticker statement about Newberry.
This included “Newberry is a place that works for all its citizens,” “Newberry County is where I want to raise my children,” “Newberry County is an inclusive environment where all can be successful,” along with a few others.
Discussions flourished throughout the groups who discussed how to better Newberry County.
In addition, there was a survey sent out in which Weathers read the responses about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats about Newberry County. Weathers said he would email the results of the survey to those who signed up.
He also encouraged everyone to tell what’s happening in Newberry with current and future events. By doing this, people found out things they didn’t know about and created conversations.
Upcoming events for Newberry include the new Newberry Piedmont Technical College campus grand opening which was Thursday, City of Newberry events this spring and summer, the Pomaria Community Food Pantry to open Saturday and a line-up of events for April 20. The April events included Operation Inasmuch with the Lutheran churches, United Way’s Day of Action, Pork in the Park and an Opera House Guild event.
A past event that was brought up was the homeless count that happened earlier this year. Weathers pointed this out as an example of getting in touch with the right person - the Department of Social Services Pandora Jones - and pulling an event together and finally knowing a more accurate count of the homeless population in Newberry County.