Ellis says leadership is about ‘tough decisions’

Published 4:05 pm Monday, April 1, 2013

Business owner and Shelby County Commissioner Corley Ellis. (contributed)

Business owner and Shelby County Commissioner Corley Ellis. (contributed)

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

Shelby County Commissioner Corley Ellis sums up leadership as “being able and willing to make the tough decisions.

“A good leader will make a choice, often a very tough choice, based on what is best for the group or situation, never taking into consideration what is the easiest choice,” he said.

Ellis advises young leaders that the harder a decision is to make, the more important it is to make the right one.

His father, Butch Ellis, is his inspiration for leadership.

“He has always been more concerned with what is happening to those around him than what is happening to him. My dad has and continues to be, a great role model that has taught me the value of hard work and to leave every situation a bit better than I found it,” he said.

Ellis is owner of Ellis Properties, a real estate brokerage firm that represents buyers and sellers in all types of real estate transactions.

As a county commissioner, he is one of nine members who manage the county’s finances and sets policies on the day-to-day operations.

“Being a county commissioner comes with sometimes having to make tough decisions,” In economic times like we are in, it is important to hear all sides and then make the decision that is best for the people of Shelby County. Those decisions are not always popular and are sometimes controversial.”

A husband to wife, Julie, and father to Jamison, age 14 months, Ellis lives in Columbiana and is a member of the board of directors for the Shelby County Arts Council, the American Cancer Society, the Birmingham Business Alliance and has served on several committees for the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama.

Ellis said he is focused on leading his son down the right paths in life and teaching him the same values and work ethic that his dad instilled in him. Like father, like son, I am sure he will. Making tough decisions will be among those lessons.


Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident. You can reach her at bethchapman@bellsouth.net.