Eight of the 10 participants gathered with their spouses and program leaders. Reflections were shared about many of the experiences shared in the class.
|Walter Branch, himself a previous graduate of the program, said the latest class came together as a group more than any previous participants.||Branch presented each graduate with a desktop mechanical device made of a series of hanging metal balls, each of which moves in a swinging pattern when the one on the end is raised and dropped against the others. The device illustrated the second law of gravity: every action creates an equal and opposite reaction, also applicable to community leadership.|
"It takes a single action to move the world," Branch said.
Regina Bowsher challenged class members to each recruit one person for next year's class. Bob Markovics, one of the instructors during the class, encouraged participants to stay in touch with each other.
"Find what your passion is and pursue it," Markovics said.
Chamber Executive Director Suzy McElmurry read comments by Jim Gannon, the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for the Detroit News. Gannon observed the fate of small towns will not be defined by geography but by leadership.
"Leadership is vision," Gannon said, "some notion of where the future lies and how to get there. Leadership is guts - the willingness to step up to hard decisions, take risks, step on toes - the determination to keep going when everyone tells you it is a lost cause. Leadership is looking in the mirror and saying, 'It's up to me.'
"You do not have to be elected to be a leader," Gannon continued. "You just have to care and decide to do something and to enlist likeminded people in the doing. In my view, that's what small towns need to survive: the spark of leadership by committed local people willing to risk failure to reach for success."
McElmurry concluded, "If you think you're too small to make a difference, then you've never been in bed with a mosquito."
Members of the 2010 Leadership Monett class included Julie Germann, Coleen Ferdig, Missy Paszek, Julie Vaughn, Jeff Wright, Gerry Mann, Kathy Eden, Jamie Stephens, Meghan Thomas and Steven Jones.