“You don’t need a title to be a leader.”
In my previous job, part of my responsibilities included coordinating logistics for leadership trainings, including providing on-site support. This meant that I had the privilege of sitting in on many leadership trainings over the past two year. Our facilitator, Deb, always started the class off by reminding everyone that you don’t need a title to be a leader, and asking when we first started seeing ourselves as leaders. Reflecting on that question made me realize that I had been acting as a leader for much longer than I have seen myself as a leader!
Another eye-opening part of these leadership classes for me was the amount of time we spent discussing ourselves, and how important knowing yourself is in being a leader. While we covered topics such as conflict resolution and good communication like I expected, we also spent time discussing healthy boundaries, knowing your triggers, being vulnerable, and emotional intelligence—a concept that I had never heard of before. In leadership positions that focus on social justice, it’s easy to focus on others and forget to nourish yourself as a leader. This was an important lesson that I hope to revisit as I strive to improve my leadership skills.
I’m excited to be a part of the leadership group and to learn more about other women who are leaders in their own communities. The great work that other women are doing and the obstacles that they are overcoming helps encourage me to take my own risks and to seek to have a larger impact. As I continue to evolve my own leadership skills and to deepen my own understanding of my impact as a leader, it is helpful to learn from your stories and lessons and to be part of such an inspiring network of women!