Monday, February 21, 2011

YOU are a Leader!

Hello Friends!

Another Monday bites the dust! Yeessss......

Today, I decided to do a Bodyrock workout, which I haven't done in FOREVER! I only had 1 hour between work and a meeting so it was perfect timing! It was the "Give Me A Reason" workout and I did almost 200 jump lunges! Yikes! I need to start doing more of these workouts-sooo good!

Today I'm veering off of my normal topics to talk about something that has become important to me in the past year-Leadership! When I moved to Beloit, I knew no one but my boyfriend (now husband) and a couple of his friends. I LOVE getting involved in things and knowing I have a "voice" in the community. After a year of getting warmed up to the community (and finally finding a job in the community) my boss's wife invited me to become a part of Cassiopeia, an all-women's philanthropic organization. I loved it! This was really the stepping stone to where I am now.

I am now:
A board member of the Chamber of Commerce
President of Cassiopeia
A local Zumba and exercise instructor
On the worship committee at my church
Member of Leadership Mitchell County Alumni
Leadership Mitchell County Alum newsletter editor
Started a bunco group

I'm a busy little beaver in Beloit now! I was part of Leadership Mitchell County Class X and it was an invaluable experience that helped me make life-long friends, but also integrated me into the community, and made me learn more about the community, and surrounding communities, I was living in.

Rye, me and Phil at an "evening" adventure after a Leadership Mitchell County class.

After my leadership experience within the county, I was invited, along with other past Leadership Mitchell County members, to the Kansas Leadership Center summit in Wichita for three days. This summit, and actually the organization itself, is the first of its kind in the Nation! WOW-Kansas is actually FIRST at something;) To say this event was life changing is an understatement! I learned more about myself and what I can do as a community member for change than I ever thought I could know! I feel passionate about leadership now, and I think EVERYONE has the capabilities to be a leader! Here are some tid bits I learned from the summit that I think are good to know:

1. Leadership is an activity, not a position or authority.
2. Making progress requires us to do what is needed in the situation rather than what is wanted or is comfortable for others or ourselves.
3. Exercising leadership involves managing losses and risking casualities.
4. Our own defaults, how we would usually or unconsciously react or intervene in a situation, can be significant barriers to making progress on the issues we care about.
5. Not making any progress during a "heated" discussion? Take a step back and get on the "balcony" so you can look at the "dance floor." (Step back and look at the situation as a third party so you have fresh eyes on the situation). It really does work!

Pepper, me and Carol (all co-workers!) at the leadership summit in Wichita

I also learned that you should cut away the "busy work." Groups, organizations, ANYTHING that you are just a warm body at, get it out of your life! You really aren't giving this group your all because you aren't passionate about it. I have a problem with this! I love being busy (it usually bites me in the butt though!), and let's face it, I like feeling important. I'm still warming up to some of the things I've joined (see list above), but I will need to come to a decision someday on what I will cut out for my sanity! I know it won't be ZUMBA:)

Mark, me and Mary Jane at the leadership summit in Wichita (we were having fun that night! Apparently I like sitting on everyone's laps!)

I want to encourage everyone that YOU can be a leader! Don't leave it up to the 80-year-old town gossiper to make your decisions! Join a local organization that you think can make a difference to something you are passionate about! Have a VOICE in the things you care about! I truly believe these things and if you have comments or questions, I'd love to hear them! Or even just suggestions on how you can get your foot in the door!

What organizations are you involved in? Are you making a difference or are you just a warm body? What would you like to be a part of that you are scared or intimidated to join?

Back to your regularly scheduled program tomorrow;)


  1. What a great sounding convention...and motivating post. We can all certainly be leaders inour own ways.

  2. I love this post!

    I'm the officer of a fairly large non-academic club on campus. I love how it has given me an opportunity to practice public speaking (I hate it, but I'm getting better!) and managing large groups of people on a regular basis.

  3. You inspire me! I'm most active locally in PEO, a philanthropic educational organization dedicated to advancing the role of women in higher education through the scholarships we fund. The fun times we have are a bonus! I'm serving as treasurer this year and will be again next year, and I so enjoy the philanthropy and the community of women. I'm a fourth generation PEO member, and if you want one more thing to do in Beloit, there is a chapter there!