Time and time again, throughout his successful career as a civic leader spanning nearly 50 years, Paul Grogan has proven that vision, determination and collaboration can open the door to good fortune--and transformational change.
Paul’s experience as an urban change maker can be seen in four arenas: a decade as an urban innovator and “white hat” for two Boston mayors running point on key issues including education, employment and housing; 13 years as a national urban cheerleader and visionary as CEO of LISC, the country’s largest community development intermediary during which time he published Comeback Cities; his return to Boston to transform Harvard University’s relationship with the community as vice president for government, community, and public affairs; and his career capstone, the two decades he served as president and CEO of The Boston Foundation during which he fundamentally redefined the role foundations can play as civic leaders. In each arena Grogan achieved transformational results.
Underneath these credentials, driving his success, lie an astonishing range of skills and core values that unite Paul’s leadership platform: define mission and communicate vision; demonstrate leadership and focus on the development of diverse talent; cross boundaries and create community; build trust to transform institutions and communities. And the scaffolding for this platform? A firm belief that an ounce of luck + a pound of effort = a ton of impact.
This book serves as a measure of Paul’s legacy and, among other things, a roadmap for young civic leaders to face the challenges of modern times. Paul’s recollections, speeches, and writings, paired with stories from colleagues over the years, often amusing and always insightful, serve as proof points that actions speak louder than words. The themes and threads of Paul’s career demonstrate the profound influence he has had on the fields of community development and community philanthropy. Life lessons drawn from fifty years of focus on changing community trajectories form the narrative and structure of this book.
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