Keynote Praises Courageous Leadership

At Wednesday’s keynote address, Dr. Samantha Nutt provided a powerful message to UBCM delegates on the theme of this year’s Convention:  Stronger Together.

Dr. Nutt is the founder and Executive Director of War Child Canada, a non-governmental organization which works with local partners to help children reclaim their childhood through access to education, opportunity and justice.

Dr. Nutt’s dynamic, reflective and, at times, poignant address provided her key lessons in leadership interwoven with her experiences with the evolution of War Child from a one person volunteer organization to the international organization it is today.

Dr. Nutt’s stated that leadership is about collective impact of overcoming barriers through collaboration and strong communication. “All of you in this room are the engine of democracy”.

Dr. Nutt had four key lessons to local government leaders based on her personal experience with War Child: ignore the blowhards; if no one is listening, don’t shout – change the message; write your why; and if it’s hard, it’s because what you are doing is important.

“Do not give up at the 500th no, the yes will come,” counseled Nutt. “Leadership is a test of endurance.”

Nutt shared stories of organizing a fundraising event in Winnipeg with the Tragically Hip to illustrate the power of finding the right message for the audience; a conversation with Nadine in the Congo which reminds her that complacency is not a luxury we can afford; and a meeting with Nadia in Darfur which reaffirmed that what you do can make a real difference.

Dr. Nutt concluded with the message to UBCM delegates that there is never a failure of opportunity for us to affect change – the only failure would be the inability to try.

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