Tough questions are worth thinking about

Published 11:18 am Thursday, August 17, 2017

“Do you consider yourself a leader?” “What are the three most important pressing problems facing the area today?”

Those were the two questions running through my head recently as I filled out the seven-page application for a neighboring community leadership program. Simple questions really, but ones that require very complex answers.

The point of these questions and others is to urge self-awareness and outward thinking about the community as a whole.

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While programs like this are great for a newcomer like me, they are beneficial for anyone who wants to get off the sidelines, give up being a Monday morning quarterback and get in the game!

Every community needs more players!

The Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce and other organizations are great for anyone who wants to learn more about the community, network with others and become actively engaged in moving Jessamine County forward.

Now, back to those two questions I was pondering.

“Do you consider yourself a leader?” I humbly have to say that I do because of my role with the newspaper, the platform this provides and a strong desire to drive positive changes. 

One of my favorite quotes, often attributed to U.S. Army pilot George E.M. Kelly, is “The difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says, ‘Go!’ A leader says, ‘Let’s go!’”

I have tried to use that approach professionally for two decades, refusing to simply delegate everything to others. I want to lead by example through hard work, dedication and a willingness to do whatever is needed.

On a personal level, I just try to do the right thing. Every time. On time. 

It’s not always as easy as it sounds, and no one is perfect, but this is the standard to which I aspire. I fail every day, but I will try harder the next day.

As for “the three most important pressing problems facing the area today?” that question is a little tougher. 

I would say it is a lack of enough quality jobs, drug abuse and general apathy. 

No easy solutions exist for any of them. 

We simply have to first identify and acknowledge the problems facing our community. The next step is creating and implementing actionable items to address them.

These are important questions and I look forward to hearing other’s answers.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine. He can be reached at (859) 469-6452 or by email at