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. As a result of our curriculum session on congruence, I was able to realize that I am a self-aware individual who has a lot to bring to this group, and likewise a lot to learn. While we as individuals do effect change in our positions, the opportunity to network with each other and forge new bonds through our participation in Leadership Allegany will allow us to work together, share our experiences, learn from each other and make an impact in our communities. It is truly beneficial for area leaders to come together and get to know one another in a forum such as Leadership Allegany so that we may hone our strengths, realize where we need to improve, and develop a partnership which will allow our common vision for the future to come to fruition. Prior to my participation in Leadership Allegany, I never felt like a leader or felt that I had much to offer to our community. We live in a unique area which faces many challenges other areas do not, and that is why change must be a grassroots effort; for positive social change to take root there must be a collaborative effort of local leaders from varying disciplines. As I progress through this curriculum, I am beginning to identify areas in which I would like to become more involved. I have defined my beliefs, know my strengths and am ready to face my limitations. Our lives may be finite, but our potential for influencing our environment and society is not. It is imperative that we use our professional and personal lives to leave behind a socially positive legacy for future leaders to continue. When one strives to live and lead in a state of congruence, she or he becomes a stronger person who leads by example and leaves an invaluable impact upon the future of our communities and the world at large.