Focusing on Community Trusteeship: Message from Board Chair

Focusing on Community Trusteeship: Message from Board Chair

Looking for a New Year’s resolution? As Leadership Austin Alumni and friends, I would ask you to consider a renewed focus on one of Leadership Austin’s core values — Community Trusteeship. There is so much divisiveness around us today in need of a conscious decision to make a change in 2017.

Being a community trustee is about more than participating—it’s about serving with a deep sense of responsibility and an emphasis on preserving and enhancing the community for the future. It’s about participating with a long-term vision and stepping back to see the larger picture.

We must consider it not just our privilege to serve, but our responsibility. We must think of our community as a living trust to be preserved and enhanced for the future.

It’s easy to take so much for granted in our everyday lives. We may feel like the country owes us—health care, education, transportation, social equity—but we don’t want to give enough of ourselves. To be a true trustee of our community, we must give back with the mind and heart focused on the greater good and a future we may not yet see.

How can we do this? Here are a few ways we can become community trustees.

  1. Seek opinion from those who may have a different experience than your own. This does not require you to change your position, but simply provide context to why someone else may feel differently.
  2. The issues we face in this region cannot be summarized in 140 characters. Each of us needs to move past the headlines and dig deeper to understand the nuances around a given issue.
  3. Engage with Leadership Austin. On a regular basis you receive our newsletter which outlines numerous engagement opportunities, but I would like to call out two today:
  • Explore a new program being offered at Leadership Austin called Engage On The Go. We are encouraging individuals to gather and discuss community issues at a time and setting that works best for you — at a staff meeting, over coffee, at a neighborhood party or even just a family dinner. It is a simple way to begin that all important community dialogue.
  • Our spring Experience Austin program is open for registration. Many alumni are taking this program and get an update on the latest issues facing the community.

January can begin a year of change for us all as we strive to find new ways to see our roles in the community. Please join me in making 2017 the year of the community trustee.

Ali Khataw,
Board Chair Leadership Austin
President/CEO of Enotech Engineering