About the Connector Project
The Leadership Louisville Connector Project was initiated by the Leadership Louisville Center (LLC) in response to the community’s more diverse and rapidly changing leadership structure. The term “Connector” came from Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book The Tipping Point and describes individuals who create change by serving as a pocket of trust. Finding community Connectors was the aim of the Leadership Louisville Connector Project, launched as the LLC’s 30th anniversary initiative.
One Connector said it best, “I’m incredibly proud and honored to have been chosen a Louisville Connector. I have a very non-traditional work life and a nontraditional definition of career success. It feels like a victory for independent creative types that someone like me ended up on a list.”
The Leadership Louisville Connector Project hit a nerve in the community and resulted in tremendous engagement and support. Nominators came from 85 zip codes in the region and the names of over 5,500 individuals were received. The consultant and technology partner, Dr. Karen Stephenson and NetForm Software, analyzed the data and identified the 128 individuals recognized as Leadership Louisville’s Connectors.
How the Connectors can impact our community
These Connectors are an important resource to our community and identifying them was only the first step. We’ve been able to get to know these Connectors, discover the issues that motivate their engagement, and leverage the power of their networks to bring fresh energy in important issues on the community agenda.
In the first months of 2011, we sat down with many of Leadership Louisville’s Connectors. Through interviews and surveys, we found where their interests lie and the groups where they have influence. Below is a sample of these groups and a chart showing the issues to which they are interested in dedicating resources.
- African American faith community
- Center for Nonprofit Excellence
- Fairness Campaign
- Hispanic/Latino Coalition of Louisville
- Historic Homes Foundation
- Louisville Urban League
- One Southern Indiana
- Refugee Community
- South Louisville Neighborhood Coalition
- World Affairs Council
As we learn more about the Connectors, we can provide strategic direction to thought leaders and decision makers in the community. We are currently working to match Connectors to board service opportunities with nonprofits and Louisville Metro government. Support from PNC Bank is also allowing Connectors to participate in Leadership Louisville Center programs to expand their networks and circle of influence.