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Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012 10:56 pm | Updated: 11:52 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — This is the question you will be asking yourself during the next year, as the Northern Leadership Center brings experiences of successful local leaders to light, demonstrates what it takes to create our state’s future leaders and engages you to fulfill your dreams.

Look around you. The leaders we speak of include your neighbors, your friends, your family and you.

We are all here, striving daily, to make Alaska a better place for future generations. In this NLC monthly column, we will bring you stories of local leaders, conversations on important leadership skills and details about leadership development programs that are available to you.

During the next year, we will highlight what it takes to be a leader in this challenging environment we call home.

Where will these stories come from? The Northern Leadership Center, better known as the NLC. The NLC is embedded within the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ School of Management and is dedicated to serving the community by helping develop the state’s future academic, political, and organizational leaders. The NLC has an advisory committee made up of successful leaders on and off campus that take great interest in fulfilling its mission, and these great leaders have decided to take you with them on the varied paths of leadership development to share the possibilities that exist in the community, as well as in you.

Perhaps some stories will be about emerging leaders in the form of student-led groups, others about entrepreneurs struggling to survive in an unstable economy, or about what different legislators have learned about the ins and outs of our community. Whatever form they may take, we promise you will be engaged and wanting to know more.

These stories will bring you a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to be a leader — within your family, network, organizations and community. You will be able to take pieces of advice, shared experiences and information about personal development programs that can be used throughout your life, as you grow into your leadership shoes.

Each month, we will present you with a leadership principle, challenge, or skill explored by a respected leader in the community. Some will encourage you to give back to the community. Others may task you with facing a fear.

Whatever the subjects may be, we can guarantee there will be growth opportunities that will connect you with your community and the leader within you that is destined to emerge.

So, are you ready for this challenge? Are you willing to take a look closer into your self and make a difference? Do you have what it takes?

Dr. Nicole Cundiff is the director of the UAF Northern Leadership Center. She can be reached by email at nlcundiff2@alaska.edu or by phone 474-5401. This column is brought to you as a public service by the Northern Leadership Center.

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