When I “got the call” to be guest editor for the LT eNews I had a moment of panic. What can I add to what has already been written? As I pondered the question I kept coming back to all the reasons I am grateful to be a member of the LT family. Since it IS November and everywhere you look people are counting their blessings, I thought it only appropriate to make a list of some of the many reasons I am grateful to be a part of LT.
- Deep friendships – this is a theme we hear over and over when talking about Leadership Tallahassee. You grow together through shared experiences and the bond just happens. It’s kind of like in the movies when people go through traumatic experiences that bond them together forever – think Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in Speed without the romance. Then, magically, that circle of friends grows. While you will always be closest to the members of your class – which we all know is the best class ever, no matter which one – you now have a huge new network of friends.
- A diverse network. One of the things LT does so well is select classes that are beautifully diverse. Culturally, socio-economically, gender, race, career choice. Government, industry, education, non-profits. They are all there. Before LT, my network was primarily my kids’ friends, friends from work and people I met through volunteering. LT grew that group in ways I never imagined.
- Greater community awareness. I always thought I was aware of and empathetic to the challenges our community and residents face. I was empathetic but not nearly as aware as I thought. Leadership Tallahassee opened my eyes to the varied needs of our community and the groups and individuals working to make it better.
- Opportunities to make a difference. Through networking with other LT grads and the LeaderBoard we can find endless opportunities to serve our community in whatever ways best fit our ability, availability and passion. My passion is children, specifically children with special needs and children in foster care. What is your passion? Are you making a difference?
- Self-Awareness. Formally through the Harrison Assessment and informally through program day activities I learned more about myself. I learned about my strengths and how I can better use them. It also helped me identify some developmental needs and ways to grow.
- Discovery of Tallahassee. Prior to being a part of LT Class 29 I had never been to Railroad Square, Mission San Luis, Tallahassee Little Theater, Tall Timbers, Domi Station or Master Craftsman Studio. I had no idea how robust our economic development or arts initiatives were. Thanks to COCA I will know there is “more than I thought” going on in Tallahassee on any given day or weekend. With LT 2.0 we can keep on learning about our fabulous community. LT has made me even more proud to call Tallahassee home.
- Resources. Have you ever cracked open the Leadership Tallahassee directory? No matter what you need to do or the expertise that you need to do it, someone in that book either knows or can connect you with someone who does. Just so you know, LT Directories are being distributed in December to all LT Grads who renewed their membership by paying 2015/2016 dues.
I guess you can say I drink the Kool-Aid – sometimes they even let me stir.