CEOs for Cities advisor shares vision during All-County luncheon July 14
By Mark Ambrogi
As a senior advisor for CEOs for Cities, Lee Fisher travels around the nation to share advice.
“If you want to make your city or region great, build a place where people want to live, and then you’ll be a place that they want to visit,” Fisher said. “Sometimes I think we focus too much on the destination and not enough on the experience.”
CEOs for Cities is a nonprofit that connects urban leaders across different sectors and generations.
Fisher, a former Ohio Lt. Governor who lives in Cleveland, gave a presentation July 14 at the All-County luncheon at Forum Conference & Events Center in Fishers that featured chamber of commerce groups from Westfield, Noblesville and OneZone (Carmel/Fishers).
“Our view if you are committed to the success of your city and you are doing something about it, you are the CEO, you are changemakers,” Fisher said. “What you did when you merge two chambers (OneZone), it was bold and innovative. It was ahead of your time as I travel this country and traveled to more than 50 cities the past two years. You deserve applause for what you have done. Why? Because collaboration is the new competition.”
Fisher said the four things he emphasizes are to start with a vision, see things with a new pair of eyes, move very fast and measure your progress. Fisher encourages cities to concentrate on their strengths.
“Don’t try to be Silicon Valley, try to be Carmel,” Fisher said. “Try to be Fishers, try to be Westfield, be who you are, but also try to find what makes you distinctive. What’s your distinctive DNA? It might be the Arts District. It might be Conner Prairie.”
Fisher said feelings are more important than words.
“You want people to feel good about themselves and feel like there is something special going on,” Fisher said. “It all forms an attitude.”
Fisher said Cleveland landed the 2016 Republican National Convention by reinventing itself.
Fisher, the dean of Cleveland State University’s law school, served as attorney general (1991-95) and Lt. governor (2007-11) in Ohio. He was the Democratic candidate for governor in 1998 and U.S. Senate in 2010, losing both races.