Each year the fellows of the Emerging Leaders Program work within leaderless teams to address issues facing our region. In my role as director of the Center for Collaborative Leadership, I have the pleasure to attend the Emerging Leaders Program Team Project Presentation at the culmination of the program where a representative from each team presents their findings. During this event, I see the progress made by our fellows in their leadership development and growth as they discuss what they learned about themselves, collaborative leadership, and the importance of civic engagement. I also have the honor to learn from our panelists who are invited to respond to the team project findings through their lens as civic leader, government official or business executive.
Here are key lessons from a few of our presenters and panelists:
“The biggest lesson I learned as a participant in the Emerging Leaders Program was about active listening. I learned it is ok to shut your mind off, take a step back and understand what people are talking about. I learned this with my team and I am working to transfer this skill to my work.” Kenechukwu Anadu, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Team 3 Presenter
“Embrace what you learned during the team building process and maintain the relationships you have made through the program. Being able to call upon members of your cohort as resources is vitally important. We don’t know everything, and it is a major benefit to be able to call on your colleagues for help.” Josh Zakim, Boston City Councillor, Panelist
“The merging knowledge project really struck me. I used to be a part of an organization that worked to improve the lives of underserved girls. Without understanding their issues, we told them ‘here’s how to do this’ and that approach didn’t work. When we finally sat down with them, and asked them, and listened to them, we were able to help them.” Leslie Lewis, Brightcove, Panelist
“For Boston to be a global leading city, it needs to be built on a foundation of equity where every single Bostonian has an opportunity to excel. We can’t have equity without all the things we talked about this morning. We need transportation, adequate affordable housing, and workforce development that is free from discrimination. These are important goals of this administration. Boston needs to be a city where Kenechukwu Anadu can tell you to pronounce his whole name, and you do, as a show of respect.” Tim Sullivan, City of Boston, Office of the Mayor, Closing Speaker
For more information about the projects, please see our website http://www.leaders.umb.edu/index.php/leaders/2014_team_project_presentations/.
Let’s keep this important conversation going. What additional advice or insights might you offer on active listening, embracing teamwork, maintaining relationships, or building a foundation of equity?