We are in an age of personal development. There are organizations and businesses devoted to just about every area of life, dedicated to building people into the best they can be. Leadership is one area that gets a lot of attention. If you are interested in joining a leadership program, you’ve likely seen a multitude of organizations willing to take your money and train you in leadership. Now that’s not to say that there are not a lot of great programs out there, but each will have their own focus and something that sets them apart. At Leadership Triangle, that something is regionalism.

Because leadership is an essentially community-based activity, we see no conflict in this focus. In fact, outside of a clear community focus, leadership can quickly turn into an exercise in self aggrandizement. This is not a leadership program simply to develop individuals as leaders, though. It does that, yes; but it does that in the context of the greater region that these leaders want to lead within. The Leadership Triangle Vision Statement, “Improve you. Improve us all,” communicates this well.

So, what is regionalism? This concept can be described as broad cooperation between businesses in all sectors, non-profit organizations, cities, counties and the greater public of a larger region towards the goal of shared success. The city of Denver in Colorado pioneered this movement and many of the lessons have been taken from their model. One of the first things they did was create a code of ethics that all were encouraged to buy into. The thought was that putting region first would make everyone succeed.

This code of ethics said, “Thou shalt not steal thy neighbor’s business.” Basically, if a business was considering relocating to any town in the region, don’t spread negative information about that community in hopes of swiping their project. What if the business decides to go somewhere else entirely and now has bad associations with part of your region? Instead, see it as a success when business flows into any part of the region and the area will thrive together. This model had tremendous success and this level of cooperation is something Leadership Triangle has sought to emulate right from our founding in 1991.

We have great resources in the Triangle area. There are great universities like Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, NC Central University, and NC State. We also have smaller schools like William Peace University, Meredith College, St Augustines University, and Shaw University. There is a world famous research park from which our region gets its name. And there is also the exciting Tobacco Campus in Durham. All of these and the countless other assets in our region are great opportunities to cooperate, collaborate and build our region up – together. A region with this degree of potential needs leaders to help realize it. Leadership Triangle has made it our mission to build these leaders so they will build our region. And after more than 20 years dedicated to this goal, we think our reputation for achieving this speaks for itself.

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