Kudos to Norma Kerling`13 and Michelle Conklin `14 who taught the importance of leadership congruence and the social change model to the students who are currently participating in Leadership Allegany. Students learned that leadership congruency requires a solid understanding of self, integrity, and commitment. To begin with, consider the following poem. Be careful of your thoughts for your thoughts become your word. Be careful of your words for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions for your actions become your habits.
On Friday August 21st the Leadership Allegany cohort met at Houghton College where we were informed we would be traveling to Centerville to experience the Genesee Valley Produce Auction. After a short drive to Centerville we saw the Auction pavilion. Sellers were busily putting their produce out for the buyers to see. The GVPA is run by the Amish and is open to the public. There were Retail tables for items available for immediate sale, a food stand with beverages and donuts and of course produce for auction.
Thursday June 18th the Leadership Allegany cohort were give a special treat when they arrived for their Judicial System Industry Day. After arriving at the Belmont Court House, the cohort was introduced to Jean Levey (Family Court Clerk) Patricia Fogarty (Assistant Public Defender), J. Thomas Fuoco (Assistant District Attorney) and Dawn Wildrick-Cole (Court Attorney). During that time the speakers were able to work through and explain they myriad that is the public court system, and the day to day activities of all involved.
Commitment: It's one of those words that makes us cringe most of the time. It's a reminder that we have to do something or go somewhere; it's a nagging or guilty reminder of a promise we made; it often is the thing that makes our daily lives so hectic. But it doesn't have to be those things! As defined by the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, commitment is "the motivational energy to serve that drives the collective effort. Commitment implies passion, intensity, and duration." Commitment is positive.
On October 16th I had the pleasure of attending Leadership Allegany's Education Industry Day at the Cuba-Rushford school. Several individuals involved in the local educational process provided the Leadership Allegany members with a variety of information relating to educating our children. My youngest child graduated from high school in 2012 so even though I may not be personally affected by changes in public education, the speakers provided interpretation and explanations of these changes.
While there are certainly many variables involved in what makes an effective leader, a thorough sense of self awareness and a consistent application of one's values and beliefs will inspire trust, transparency, and openly honest communication in order to effect positive change. It is essential for people to continue to learn more about themselves as time passes, and I value the way in which this project has challenged me to evaluate myself.
On 06/19/2014 I learned more about the judicial system, than I thought I would. There are a lot of local government branches. I've also come to realize that the local level is just one level of our county government. There are a lot of services that the local government does that I was not aware of. I enjoyed listening to all the speakers, Judge Parker, Michael Regan, Daniel Guiney, and Lisa O'Connell. Judge Parker handles many different levels of the judicial system; he does estate court, family court, and is also acting Supreme court Judge. Lisa O'Connell was my favorite speaker.
When I signed up for Leadership Allegany, I really didn't think I had anything to contribute or that I would be "good enough". I, like so many in the class, had doubts and fears to overcome. Each week, as we get to know each other better, it has been more comfortable and easier to see why anyone is qualified. You just have to know what your strengths are, work with those, understand your weaknesses and learn to work with those, as well. Our classroom session on Thursday, June 5th was about our strengths and weaknesses and how to best handle them in a Leadership role.
I was delighted for the opportunity to participate in Leadership Allegany. I love people and am always ready for a challenge. I welcome the opportunity to learn better ways to communicate and work with others as it pertains to my job and community involvement. Each of us knows what we think are our strengths and weaknesses, but I was amazed after taking the "StrengthsFinder" to see it all broken out and how one thing affects another. Having representation from all four domains of leadership strengths serving each team will be most beneficial in the making of a strong leadership unit.
To be completely honest, I was rather nervous to start this course. I have never really considered myself a leader and did not feel I had any of the personality traits traditionally associated with a leader. I'm not assertive, public speaking gives me nightmares, and making large decisions that will affect people stresses me out. Although the retreat was enjoyable, I was still a bit apprehensive heading into the first classroom day given both my fear of the unknown and lingering insecurities about being a leader.