Worcester Business Journal

June 21, 2021

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wbjournal.com | June 21, 2021 | Worcester Business Journal 21 Keep the good rules from the state of emergency V I E W P O I N T E D I T O R I A L T he end of the Massachusetts state of emer- gency on June 15 was a welcomed relief throughout the commonwealth, and repre- sented a milestone in our continued recov- ery from the coronavirus. Yet, that liing of restrictions ended a handful of COVID-induced provisions, proven to be quite useful over the past 15 months and should have a life beyond the pandemic. One case in point is the outdoor dining provision, where the state relaxed its regulations on how and where restaurants could offer seating on sidewalks, roadways and parking lots. e emergency provision was put in place in June 2020 when restaurants were allowed to reopen but could only use their indoor din- ing rooms under severely restricted capacity. Now, with those capacity restrictions gone, outdoor dining gives restaurants extra capacity and a nice amenity for guests. e more retail establishments interact with the streets and sidewalks around them, the more active the pedes- trian foot traffic, bringing greater vitality and activity to retail settings. If the provision is made permanent, as Worcester is considering for sometime next year, restaurants will have extra incentive to invest in making those outdoor options more attractive. Another important measure was the move of public government meetings to video conferencing platforms like Zoom. While this was done to limit unnecessary in-person interactions, a positive side effect was it be- came much easier for members of the public to watch and engage with their city councils, boards of educa- tion, boards of selectmen, planning boards, and other such entities, increasing public engagement by a wide margin. Even if the state returns to requiring an in-per- son quorum for meetings to officially happen - which does not feel necessary - these public gatherings should be required to use a mix of video conferencing and in-person interaction. Increased civic participation in public meetings has been one of the true silver linings. Other measures instituted during the pandemic, including the broadening of mail-in voting, to-go cocktails from restaurants, authorization for notaries to do their work remotely, and others, are worth giving thoughtful consideration and debate. e Massachu- setts legislature appears to be headed on the right path by extending these measures temporarily while consid- ering permanent replacements. e pandemic state of emergency – no matter what stage we were in – has been a difficult time for everyone. But the government, along with the state's businesses, learned to adapt and innovate, protecting the public while attempting to minimize the economic and societal damage. Let's make sure we hold onto those provisions that worked and keep them in place. L eadership development is an important topic. Just look at the business development aisle at a bookstore, with countless books on the topic. But leadership development is more than finding the right book and reading it cover to cover. You may be under the impression leaders are born that way, but the truth is almost anyone can become a leader. I know this. Looking at my background, you might think that there is no way I was born to be a leader. I grew up in poverty. I had nothing to my name. My only outlet was school. I knew if I wanted to have a different life for my children, I had to learn a new way of doing things. rough my own experiences and my continued research on leadership development, I made some important discoveries. e program I created – Empowering Confident Youth – was designed to help instill these leadership attributes in others from an early age. e pilot for this program that we have done through the Wachusett Regional High School in Holden has yielded promising results. Even when implemented amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic, it is clear that this character educa- tion program made a significant impact on learners: • 96.8% of students reported an awareness of personal strengths • 100% of students engaged in goal-setting behavior. • 99.2% of students could articulate their personal belief system and core values. • 98.4% of students reported having some self- confidence. BY JEAN PAUL PAULYNICE Special to the Worcester Business Journal The above Editorial is the opinion of the WBJ Editorial Board. The Viewpoint column, the A Thousand Words cartoon, and the Word from the Web commentary represent the opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of WBJ or its staff. WBJ welcomes letters to the editor and commentary submissions. Send them to bkane@wbjournal.com. A T H O U SA N D WO R D S B Y R A M Ó N L . S A N D O V A L Important attributes of effective leaders Jean Paul Paulynice W • 98.4% of students reported the ability to act comfortably with others. • 97.6% of students try at least a couple of ways to solve their problems. • 100% of students could identify having at least one passion in life. ese discoveries are not limited to just young peo- ple. ey can be applied by any leader at any age. As I looked at how we trained these young people to lead, I realized business leaders and professionals can apply these principles to train up leaders in their organiza- tions as well. Leaders know how to set goals. Effective leaders can train others to do similarly. It's more than an annual review where you set goals in the workplace. Most leaders know what they are good at. ey didn't get to where they are by accident. Most of them capitalized on their strengths and used them to forge a path forward. Leaders are confident. Whether this confidence is in-born or developed at an early age is up in the air. To grow as a leader, you must grow in your self-efficacy. Leaders must be comfortable around different kinds of people and people in different places in their life. Leaders are passionate people. No matter what that passion is, effective leaders need to discover and pur- sue the things they are passionate and excited about. When I finally decided to pursue my passions in- stead of simply a paycheck, I discovered my true desire was to see others develop into enthusiastic leaders. is passion has helped me succeed no matter what I've set my mind to. It takes a person with a passion to lead others and help them grow to draw out these vital qualities. Leadership isn't innate, it's learned. Jean Paul Paulynice is the founder of the Worcester education startup Empowering Confident Youth. W

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