2002 Pacesetters

What does it take to be named a Pacesetter?

We were asked that question several times this year after we put out a call for nominations for the 2002 Pacesetters. There aren’t any hard and fast requirements other than a nominee live in one of the counties where we have significant circulation. Beyond that, a Pacesetter should demonstrate that he or she has made a contribution to the business community and economic development of the region that goes beyond the norm and, in some way, outside the ordinary.

Public service counts. So does job creation. And making tough decisions in trying times may mean more this year than it has in others.

We have witnessed in recent months the tremendous value of exemplary leadership in the most fundamental and critical of ways and circumstances. We’ve also seen how great leaders can bring out the best in their followers, and how the worst of leaders can lead theirs down a path of destruction.

Ironically, great leaders seem to have an uncanny ability to inspire the people around them to be leaders in their own right, and that may be the very essence of outstanding leadership.

We were duly impressed this year by the quality of the nominees and the packages of supporting information submitted on their behalf. There were several 20-page presentations that took lots of time, care and energy to put together. Several of those individuals were selected. Others weren’t, but certainly will be considered in the future.

Beyond the nominations we receive, we spend a good deal of time reviewing the newsmakers covered on the pages of SBN, people we have met or heard about. We try to avoid simply choosing the usual suspects, although we won’t ignore the well-known, especially if they have distinguished themselves recently. We send out an e-mail appeal for nominations, hoping to pick up someone we haven’t identified before.

When you hear the call next year, consider nominating someone or submitting your own name as a Pacesetter. Tell us why you believe the nominee is Pacesetter material and give us supportive material to help us make our decision.

And if you’ve been nominated and have yet to be chosen, take heart. Try again next year. And keep on trying in the business arena. After all, perseverance is one of the earmarks of a Pacesetter.