December End of Month Update

Dan Culhane - President and CEO of Ames Regional Economic Alliance

Author Tommy Spalding was the keynote speaker at our Annual Luncheon event on December 5, 2023, held at Cornerstone Church. His message of servant leadership is one that resonates with me, and I was excited to hear him speak.

​Leadership is something that I think about often, always aspiring to be better, yet continually feeling as though I come up short. I have come to the conclusion that this is the path of leadership, and the finish line is always in the distance.

There are a lot of takeaways when listening to Tommy speak or if you’ve read one of his books. One of the most obvious and striking is his sincerity when talking with people. He will be talking with a person he’s just met and be genuinely interested in their story: what drives them and how they arrived at this spot in their life. He takes time to listen, learn, ask questions, and unpack the nuance of their life. He finds purpose in these conversations and eventually shares many of them through his speaking opportunities and books.

Research has shown (I’m paraphrasing the concept here) that we impact 80,000 people in our lifetime. We will all fill a stadium full of people with our interactions, and the question remains what will they say about us?

​That question is not intended to feel heavy or philosophic. If we all ask ourselves this question, the intention is that it should positively influence our interactions moving forward. When I stop and actively think about this question, Spaulding’s words help me slow down and be present.

If you ever have an opportunity to listen to Tommy speak, take it. In the meantime, read one of his books. I recently finished The Gift of Influence.

We had a terrific year here at the Ames Chamber of Commerce and I was excited to cap the year on a high note with Tommy’s uplifting message. At no point in my career have I been part of a stronger team that tirelessly serves our members and communities. This year was great, and I fully anticipate that 2024 will be another banner year for the organization and our region.

​Thanks to each of you for your investment and ongoing support of what we do here at 304 Main Street. Enjoy the balance of 2023 and here is to an incredible 2024.