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August 28, 2020

90 Ideas in 90 minutes mini series: Hartford Foundation CEO, Pres. Jay Williams

Photo | Contributed Hartford Foundation President Jay Williams addresses a crowd of nonprofit leaders.

Since July 2017, Jay Williams has served as president of the Hartford Foundation and has been working to build stronger relationships between the Foundation and the local communities it serves. He is currently leading the Foundation’s efforts to address disparities in our community based on race/ethnicity, place and income in order to make opportunities more available to everyone.

In his role, Williams serves on the boards of the MetroHartford Alliance, AdvanceCT, and CHEFA Community Development Corp. In addition, he is a member of the Governor’s Workforce Council and the Community Foundation Opportunity Network Governing Council. 

Prior to coming to the Foundation, Williams served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development where he led the federal economic development agenda for the United States.

Leadership vs. management -- every organization needs both but they are very different.

People are led, "things" are managed. It's important for leaders to have characteristics of each, but it's the rare individual who can master both. Find your role, and play it to pieces.

One of the most essential characteristics of a leader is inspiration -- defined as the ability to move people to action.

Influence is important, as it can change thinking, but may not change actions. -- N.L. Wagner.

Amongst the most important decisions of a leader is their appointments. (They will make or break any organization) -- N.L. Wagner.

Significance is paramount to success. -- N.L. Wagner

In our society people will often "pay" more for talent than integrity.

It never ends well, because in reality, only one of those things can really be purchased.

Leaders are often wrong, but never uncertain

Must also be willing to admit, "I was wrong." -- Rosabeth Moss Kanter.

Confidence is the expectation of a positive outcome. Arrogance is possessing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.

Self-criticism is a sure sign of maturity and the first step to eliminating personal weaknesses.

There is nothing more dangerous in all the world than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Quick (non-book) "must reads"

“The Penalty of Leadership” – Theodore McManus
“The Man in the Arena” – Teddy Roosevelt
“13 Rules of Leadership” - Colin Powell

The only gracious way to accept an insult is to ignore it; if you can't ignore it, top it; if you can't top it, laugh at it; if you can't laugh at it, it's probably deserved. -- J. Russel Lynes

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