April Guest Editor – Jim McShane (LT 33)

I am grateful for my LT33 experience. My peers encouraged me to apply, and although I have participated as a presenter in regional leadership programs in the past, I can clearly see that Leadership Tallahassee is different. This program teaches you exactly where community leadership is grounded, in service and education. As someone who moved here from Indiana, new to the Tallahassee community, Leadership Tallahassee provided me with an excellent opportunity to get to know our community’s leaders firsthand.

LT 33, the most social class, was a wonderful experience where together, we overcame fears through a repelling activity from the fire tower and met others in this fantastic group of emerging and experienced leaders.

In other programs in which I previously participated, where the outline was informational and experiential, the goal was to imbue only younger, emerging leaders into the community with the expectation of compliance and continuing with how the current leadership operated. That approach leaves no room for innovation, collaboration, and community progress. LT is all about meeting other leaders from various backgrounds, having experiential adventures together to bond, and raising the awareness of the community’s efforts and the challenges. The experience allowed for questions, inquiry, and sharing of thoughts and information, with respect, throughout the program.

I found the LT experience to be the foundation that has helped me be more connected, networked and engaged with the community. I have appreciated that I had the experience of serving as a board chair with the Big Bend Continuum of Care Committee, Gadsden County Development Corporation, the City of Tallahassee Affordable Housing Committee, and The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Citizens Advisory Committee. I also serve on the Early Learning Coalition boards, Executive Committee of the Florida Workforce Development Association, and Opportunity Florida.

Life after LT33 has been great. The wonderful people I have developed a relationship with are fantastic. As an aging CEO/Executive Director, I find that my experiences can help the new up-and-coming nonprofit and workforce executives. I love to share my stories and experiences to give the many younger generation leaders insight and direction. I always say my middle name is collaboration. I have been a community change agent for most of my life. I highly recommend checking out  www.presencing.org and the worldwide effort to improve lives and collaborate with innovative community impact activities. Our community is blessed with the Chamber’s Leadership Tallahassee program, and it is producing more aware and informed leaders for the future. I appreciate the opportunity and investment Leadership Tallahassee offers to build a network of fantastic leaders for our community for today and the future.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone