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      Residents' Emotional Attachment to Community May Boost Local Economy, Study Finds

A three-year Gallup study of twenty-six U.S. cities has found that residents' love and passion for their community may be a leading indicator for local economic growth. Funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the study, Knight Soul of the Community 2010 (36 pages, PDF), assessed the connection between local economic growth and residents' emotional bond to a place in cities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers.

Among other things, the study found that cities with the highest levels of resident attachment also had the highest GDP growth rate over time. Indeed, quality-of-life elements — social offerings, openness, and aesthetics — consistently rated higher than perceptions of the economy, job availability, or basic services in creating a lasting emotional bond between people and their community. Moreover, despite a decline in economic indicators since the study began, researchers found that the link between local GDP and residents' emotional bonds to a community remained steady.

With support from the Knight Foundation, three of the cities included in the survey — Miami, Charlotte, and Detroit — will work to transform themselves by implementing projects that build on the findings of the study.

"This survey offers new approaches for communities to organize themselves to attract businesses, keep residents, and holistically improve their local economic vitality," said Gallup World Poll deputy director Jon Clifton. "Our theory is that when a community's residents are highly attached, they will spend more time there, spend more money, they're more productive, and tend to be more entrepreneurial. The study bears out that theory and now provides all community leaders the knowledge they need to make a sustainable impact on their community."

“Got Love For Your Community? It May Create Economic Growth, Gallup Study Says.” John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Press Release 11/15/10.


Be l i e v e . P l an. F LY

 1) Define Your Legacy through Your Actions. People are not remembered for their possessions but by the actions they took to improve the world.

2) Be Authentic, not Glamorous. People are remembered in a positive way for the authentic actions from the heart and mind. Glamour is just an illusion and is fleeting.

3) Define Your Legacy by Unique Thoughts, Actions and Courage. Legacies are not built by following along with the crowd. Dare to be Different, and Dare to be Great!

4) Innovate and Be First. Legacies are created by bringing in new ideas and by being first to convey those. Explore new ideas to generate new legacies.

5) Create Longevity by Creating a Succession Plan. Identify great people to carry on your work. Key people must share the vision, the drive and the desire. Family members may or may not make the best successors.

6) Inspire Others. Inspire others by sharing your visions, your desires and dreams. Communicate your vision well and frequently.

7) Earn Your Legacy. Lead by example to earn the respect of your peers and staff. Don’t ask staff to perform a task you wouldn’t do yourself.

8) Accept All Decisions (Both Good and Bad). Good leaders take responsibility for mistakes. Legacies are built upon many years of decisions. Take responsibility for both the good and bad decisions made.

9) Be Consistent. Legacies are built upon sustained leadership and results. Build a consistent achievement record in meeting goals and expectations.

10) Be True to Your Words. When you profess allegiance to your company or your country, be true to your words and be true to your staff. Be congruent in your actions and words.

Naomi Takeuchi is founder of1000 Cranes Business Consulting in Durham, North Carolina. She is a strategic planning and leadership consultant assisting organizations through thoughtful business planning, effective communication and organizational development.

Another Resource:

Excerpts from MegaTrends 2010, Seven Trends That Will Change the Way We Live, Work and Invest