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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Reflections on Beginning the Emerging Leaders Program

From the moment I heard about the Emerging Leaders Program, I was hopeful that it would equip me with the tools to become a more effective leader in the public sector.  The first session of the program featured Margaret Crotty as the guest speaker.  Margaret is the Executive Director of Partnership with Children, the Program Leader for Emerging Leaders, and a board member of Princeton AlumniCorps.  I was blown away, her passion is contagious.  Margaret embodied what I think of as a great leader - a passion for fulfilling the mission of an organization with the ability to motivate various stakeholders.

The first session also gave us the opportunity to review the results of our Myers-Briggs assessments.   For the first time, I felt like I had been given a vocabulary to describe my work style.  For example, I am a strong “J” meaning that I have a preference for working on clearly structured and well organized tasks. This comes through in meetings in that I verbalize ideas that have been thoroughly thought through.  I also tend to use an orderly step-by-step approach when engaging in public speaking. This was a huge insight for me.  One of my goals is to become a more assertive and authoritative public speaker.  My substantive knowledge of issues is occasionally belied by my modest manner of speaking.  The Meyers-Briggs assessment helped me to see that being overly structured when I speak may cause me to be less flexible in situations when I am receiving push back.  As such, I need to be more flexible so that I can be a more nimble and authoritative speaker.

I was in awe after the first session in that I learned so much and was also humbled by the talents of the other Emerging Leader participants.  

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