On the eve of the American Water Summit, about 40 global water leaders met in Chicago on 13 November 2012 to discuss how best to communicate the value of water to the public. The CEO-level roundtable dinner was sponsored by the renowned trade publication Global Water Intelligence and its sister publication American Water Intelligence.
Among the goals of the roundtable dinner were the following:
- to provide a networking opportunity for thought leaders in the industry
- to create a body of influence for promoting and communicating the value of water
- to determine the best path forward for the group
One additional question posed at my table yielded some interesting answers: What makes a water leader a leader?
This question prompted a discussion of the specific skill set needed for water leaders, but the description applied equally to all thought leaders.
Water leaders, according to participants, are or should be conservative, compelling and clear ambassadors for the value of water (or their own value proposition.) They need courage and confidence as they champion the cause of water (or their company’s cause), and they should do so with an authentic voice (as all thought leaders should).
Collaboration and alignment of interests will help build a stronger sense of community as water leaders (or any other thought leader). A partnering mindset will help break down silos, which will be necessary to move the water industry (and any industry) forward with one voice.
Highlights of the full water conference can be found in this ”Top Tweets” post from the Twitter feed #aws2012.