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President's Corner

​​​William Pitt, NCLM President
Council Member, Washington, NC

Learning is the Key to Leadership
By William Pitt, NCLM President
One of my favorite sayings is, “If you stop learning, you stop living.” As I begin my term as president of your North Carolina League of Municipalities, and as we come out of our recently-held annual conference, CityVision, which took place in Hickory in mid-May, it is an especially apt phrase to reflect on.

As I noted in my acceptance speech as president at CityVision, to be an effective leader, you must evolve. And to evolve, you have to continue learning, whether that means learning about the policy issues that are so important to future of our municipalities and their residents, or learning about the skills needed to inspire people to follow paths that lead to that future and future success.

One of the great things about CityVision is how it provides for a forum of learning on multiple levels. We have the opportunity to learn from informative programming. We have the opportunity to network and learn from each other. We have the opportunity to see up close how the host city is addressing its needs and challenges. We even have the opportunity to learn about the solutions that the vendors attending can potentially offer to our towns or cities.

And it is in that growth and learning that we help each other work collectively, through an organization like the League, to come up with solutions that can help all of us. One aspect of CityVision this year was the unveiling of our new logo, tagline, mission statement and values statement. That tagline – “Working as One. Advancing All.” – could not more clearly or concisely express this sentiment.

We – municipal officials and League staff together – are committed to addressing problems like a lack of quality broadband access and opioid addiction. We are providing for the insurance needs of cities and towns – in efficient and effective ways that limit liability and prevent costs before they occur. We are assisting cities and towns in the face of tremendous population and cultural change. And we have been and continue to be a great resource for providing innovative ideas and best practices.
While the League staff is crucial in providing this knowledge and expertise, it is no more valuable than your involvement.
After all, it is our collective voice that makes our needs resonant with state policymakers. And it is the ideas of the individual that can be and are shared with the many.

The journey of an elected official is long, but it is a good long. I have been fortunate to travel a path that is mine.  It has been a path with many side roads.  Those roads have led me to many experiences. And those experiences are a part of that learning, that education.

As I begin down a new part of that path, as president of this organization, I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to grow and learn together. As we do so, I know that we will, in turn, be able to accomplish goals for the benefit of others and be a voice for a cause that betters our state as we better each our towns and cities.

Photo of Michael Lazzara​​