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Leadership Techniques at Core of Clinton Global Initiatives Success

Congrats to the Clinton Foundation and to Bill Clinton for his ability to draw $7.3 billion from private donations at his 2nd annual Clinton Global Initiatives. The money will be used to take action against world problems such as energy and climate change, global health, poverty alleviation, and the mitigation of religious and ethnic conflict.

Clinton has used effective leadership techniques to succeed in this ambitious endeavor. Clinton successfully galvanized a variety of personalities, cultures, races, and political viewpoints into one cause. His leadership in elevating the importanceCGI Bush.jpg of the issues above the differences of the participants is clear. The Clinton Global Initiatives describes itself as

“a non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

From the Clinton Global Initiatives conference and website, Clinton’s implementation of effective leadership strategy is apparent as it emphasizes commitment, measuring results and empowering others. From the Clinton Global Initiatives web site:


Commitments translate practical ideas into meaningful action. They generally meet the following criteria:

  • Original: a new or expanded project that is initiated in anticipation of, or as a result of, the Clinton Global Initiative. President Clinton’s “call to action” highlights the growing opportunities for businesses, governments and the nonprofit sector to affect public problems by moving beyond activities or programs already in place.
  • Specific: A project that defines clear and feasible objectives.
  • Measurable: an endeavor that within its fixed time frame shows continued progress and produces a quantifiable outcome
Any leader could implement these features to accomplish an organizational goal:
  • Define clear and feasible objectives
  • Translate practical ideas into meaningful action through commitment
  • Establish a fixed time frameIdentify a quantifiable outcome
  • Measure and monitor progress

Clinton’s ability to attract and retain global, non-partisan support for this important cause is due in part to his use of these leadership tenets, encompassed by the principle of commitment.

AP Photo - Seth Wenig

Former President Bill Clinton Leads 2nd Annual Clinton Global Initiative

Former President Clinton was at his best this week as he hosted the Clinton Global Initiative. The conference, which ran from September 20-22 gathered an impressive list of world and business leaders as well as some Hollywood celebrities (never missing a chance to be on stage next to Bill). As it concluded today, the former president announced a total of $7.3 billion in pledges that will help reduce global warming and fight Third World poverty, disease and ethnic strife.

From its website,

“The Clinton Global Initiative is designed to inspire action. Every participant mustCGI logo.jpg pledge to take a specific action in one of our focus areas. These commitments have ranged from $100 million to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa, to a donation of 20,000 bicycles in disaster-torn Sri Lanka, to 100 hours volunteered in an interfaith youth group.”

In only its second year, the conference was a dazzling success. According to the Washington Post,

“The three-day Clinton Global Initiative, which attracted world leaders, corporate titans and, produced at least 215 commitments of financial support to a range of projects supported by the Clinton Foundation. Last year's gathering produced 300 commitments worth $2.5 billion.”

Sir Richard Branson was a significant reason for the increase in financial commitments as he pledged $3 billion to develop alternative energy sources.CIG Branson.jpg

To assist him in his global fight against poverty, disease, war and pollution, Clinton handpicked his invitees, bringing together some of the richest and most influential people on Earth and energizing them to take on some of the world's worst problems. Clinton is impressive in his ability to attract support and garner followers. The list of invitees included nearly 50 heads of state as well as billionaires and a variety of royalty and Hollywood stars.

Attendees gathered in support of Clinton and these important issues included First Lady Laura Bush (in photo with Steve Case AOL founder), former Vice President Al Gore, and billionaire businessmenCIG 1.jpg Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch, cyclist Lance Armstrong, CBS News anchor Katie Couric and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Clinton was clear that he was reaching out to solve world problems, something that he felt must rise above partisan politics.

"No matter what your politics are, there ought to be things that we can agree on need to be done," Clinton said. "Shouldn't there be some forum where Americans and citizens of the world can put aside their differences and find common ground?"

Clinton’s charisma, personality and commitment to solve issues draw people to him. In a world divided on so many levels, a non-partisan commitment to improve the human family is needed. The intitiative of one leader has taken a great step toward a solution

Branson Photo Credit: Tina Fineberg -- Associated Press Photo

Aug 1
Chartreuse Discovering Katrina

There is some good stuff going around the web today.

I offer my support and encouragement to Chartreuse, an independent blogger that has thrown out an innovative idea that captures the power of new media and citizen journalism.

I often read what Chartreuse has to say about blog networks and new media. It is colorful if nothing. Over the past several months, we have become better acquainted with Chartreuse. I never thought of him as an activist but he has started something that is quickly becoming a major story and cause. His action, his innovation, his ability to draw support – his leadership - is worth noting. It started here.

“I read a story about FEMA not allowing Katrina victims to talk to reporters. That sounded a bit outrageous to me so I asked a friend of mine who works in a position which allows her/him to see what’s going on across the state of Louisiana to tell me if it was true. (Sorry, they are not allowed to speak “on the record” to the press!)”

Chartreuse received an unofficial on-the-ground-report from New Orleans – and it wasn’t pretty. It spoke of racial profiling and police harassment of Katrina katrina victims.jpg victims. I have to say, the claims were so extreme, I wasn’t sure what to believe. I trusted Chartreuse to publish the truth. He wanted to know more. From his post yesterday

“I’m putting up $1000.00 of my own cash to send 2 people to New Orleans and the Gulf Region for a weekend to find out what’s really going on.”

“I write a lot about change, institutional collapse and personal empowerment. I don’t write enough about responsibility.

I feel we all have a responsibility to do what we can.

Let’s do something important.”

The call to action has not fallen on deaf ears. Know More Media is in with cash and coverage. Nearly a hundred readers have responded and several citizen journalists have applied to file the report.

We have it in our power to begin the world over again. - Thomas Paine

Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko is NBA’s Good Guy
Sports media is known for tracking stats, making awards and ranking players. And professional sports is known for making young athletes millionaires and often egomaniacs.  With the NBA draft just completed and a new crop of instant millionaires created, I was pleased to discover a sports award that stood out because it rewarded leadership and being the number one “Good Guy” in the NBA.Kirilenko2.jpg

The Sporting News announced that the “NBA Good Guy” award for 2006 goes to Andrei Kirilenko, of the Utah Jazz. Okay, maybe there is not a lot of competition in the NBA for this award but let’s give it up for Kirilenko.

The Russian native not only ranks number one in the NBA in blocks (220), number two in blocks per game (13.9) and finished in the top 20 in six other categories, Kirilenko leads in his willingness to give and make a difference in the lives of people in Russia and the United States.

Kirilenko reaches out to the needs of the less fortunate. According to the Sporting News,

“His work in Russia has particular impact. Of the more than $300,000 he donated to causes last year, more than $100,000 in goods and services went to an orphanage in Moscow that was started by nuns because the state would not deal with disabled children ages 3 to 18.”

He also provided the initial financing to rebuild a children's cancer hospital in St. Petersburg that had serious cleanliness issues, including mold. When the hospital ran out of funds for medicines for leukemia, he gave $10,000 in medicines.

In the United States, Kirilenko helps out single moms, the Utah Food Bank and a local cancer institute.

We hear enough news about athletes and their trouble lives. It is nice to see that Kirilenko not only leads his team on the court but also leads the NBA in helping others.

Leadership is Service
It is good to be number one in something. I noticed in an article in Wired that the residents of Utah have been recognized for volunteering more often and giving more of their time than people in any other state. Check out the Utah Commision on Volunteers.

The study, Volunteering inUtah.jpg America: State Trends and Rankings is based on the most statistically significant study of volunteering ever produced in the United States. It was conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency.

Not only does it reveal that Utahns serve, it also noted that

  • women volunteer at a higher rate than men
  • women with children and women who work have higher volunteer rates than other women
  • more adult volunteers serve through religious organizations than other groups

Women continue to define the standard!

Leadership is all about service. When you lead you serve. Those that serve learn an important lesson about leadership. Leadership empowers, lifts and inspires. When you serve others you empower, lift and inspire and you feel the satisfaction of making a difference for no other reason that it was the right thing to do.

Read the entire study here.

If you are interested in resources to lead and manage volunteers, check out ServiceLeader.

EndNote: Utah also ranked number one in consumer bankruptcy filings per 1,000 adults. Coincidence?

Jun 2
Jamie Oliver Starts a Revolution (Food Fight!)

There are lots of places to lead and lots of ways. Who would have guessed one place would be the school cafeteria?

Jamie Oliver, the energetic British celebrity chef and star of the The Naked Chef has turned his enthusiasm, talent and celebrity towards making the world a better place, particularly for kids.

Oliver, who left school at age16 “with no qualifications”, has returned to school, this time as a celebrity and on a mission to change the lives and health of school children. With him is a petition with more than 270,000 signatures.feed me better.jpg

The self-proclaimed, “Salad Boy” launched the Feed Me Better campaign after he volunteered to cook at one school and thereby “ban the junk and get good, fresh food back in schools.” Soon several schools were added and now the British government has provided funding for ingredients and training. As the Feed Me Better website says, the campaign is “starting a revolution in your school dining hall.”

Four years ago, the savvy Oliver filmed his culinary experiment where he served 20,000 school meals a day to school kids in a London district. The series, Jamie’s School Dinners initially was broadcast on British TV and is now available on DVD.

Oliver has also been busy opening restaurants that help underprivileged youth. He established the Fifteen restaurant in 2002. Fifteen restaurants employ and train “15”disadvantaged young people. All profits go to the Fifteen Foundation to provide these young people with the working environment in which to expand their knowledge and practical experience. Plans for similar restaurants are underway around the globe: Fifteen Amsterdam was opened in December 2004, Fifteen Cornwall in Newquay opened last month and Fifteen Melbourne is scheduled for opening this summer.

Enthusiasm. Hustle. Commitment. Expertise. Innovation. It’s contagious. It inspires. It changes lives. Good work Jamie. Keep leading.

Read more at FoodieObsessed.
May 4
From the Mouths of Babes….
The example of Kelsie Buckley, of Hurricane ravaged Biloxi, Mississippi is worth noting and sharing. Kelsie demonstrates that leadership is not about gender, age, power, stature or social class. Leadership is in its purest form is uniting people around a mission or objective. Kelsie is a leader and provides another example of a young person trying to make the world a better place for everyone.

From a CBS Evening News report, I learned that Kelsie loves to read despite fighting a disease that may take her sight one day. In a search for large-print books for vision impaired readers, she found most libraries wanting. So she set-off on a fundraising effort with a goal to raise $70,000 to help libraries buy such books. With a fundraising foundation and a web site,, she had raised $79,000 and testified on Capitol Hill about the need for large print collections in libraries. Kelsie’s leadership has inspired others.

"Kelsie, you moved me so much," Ann Moore, CEO of Time Inc., told the determined Gulf Coaster, "I'd like to make a $20,000 donation."

Kelsie was honored by Laura Bush yesterday, who was in the Gulf to announce $500,000 in grants to school libraries that were wiped out by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Kelsie doesn't find it strange to be doing so much at such a young age.

"No matter how old you are, says Kelsie on her web site, "we all can make a difference."

This southern white girl, exemplifies what two great civil rights leaders taught and stood for.  In Kelsie’s own words, we can “enrich our lives by helping others.” Well said, well done Kelsie.
You are in good company.

"A life is not important, except in the impact it has on other lives."

 - Jackie Robinson

“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve."
           - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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