By Tanya Hall, DTM, Program Quality Director
Throughout life, we are exposed to a variety of leadership lessons. There is learning in almost everything we do, and even in the things we should not do, but it is these lessons that shape us and mold us into the people and leaders that we are today, and the leaders we will become in the future.
When I embarked on my role as Program Quality Director, my mentors shared with me that this year’s leadership lessons will be focused on teamwork. I will learn how to work through teams, how to motivate teams and how to inspire teams. I was ready to embrace the learning before me. Yes, over this past year I learned a lot about teamwork, but through teamwork, I also learned many other valuable leadership lessons. Lessons of Reflection, creating with passion and leading by example.
At the beginning of the year, a team of Educational Coordinators was created. The objective of the team was to provide monthly workshops for the members to help them with their club officer roles. After each workshop, we met as a team, sharing our perspectives on what worked well and what we could improve upon, thus enhancing each subsequent workshop. We held the objective of the workshop in mind, but we were not afraid to try different ways to meet the objective. By making these alterations, we created something that we were all proud of! The power of reflection gave us the power of revision and it is through this that we grew as leaders.
The next lesson was the power of creating with passion. One of my goals this year was to help clubs enhance and grow their mentoring program. We ran a series of mentoring brainstorming sessions at the beginning of 2021 and watched the ideas flow. The passion and creativity that the members of District 61 brought forward was contagious, and before long, we were feeding off each other’s ideas. A subset team was formed, and they took the ideas of the District and collaborated, shared concepts, and ultimately produced the mentoring collateral and the 10-Minute Mentor video series! It was a great reminder that when you have a passionate team, anything is possible, and you can make change happen!
The third lesson is leading by example. Working with the Zoom Team, I was reminded of the importance this concept can play in a team environment. The Zoom team is a hands-on team designed to help and support the District with online webinars, contests, and the conference. As they prepared for their roles, they shared their experiences and best practices. They walked through scenarios and created backup plans. This was a team of leaders that was leading by example. They were not afraid to jump in and lend a hand when needed – working cohesively as a team. This Zoom Team has been an amazing group of leaders. They stand as a reminder that when we lead by example, we build commitment within the team; and with commitment, we can accomplish great things!
Leadership is all around us. It is the lessons that we learn every day. The questions are: how do you apply the lessons you are learning? Do you take time to reflect on what has gone well and what can be done to improve it? Do you surround yourself with passionate people that can help drive initiatives forward? Do you lead by example so that you can understand the needs of your team and build commitment from within? These are just some of the takeaways I learned this year. Trust me when I say that there are many more – just as there are many great teams contributing to them.