Powerful forces draw me to organize my copious lists in decorative wire bound journals. I found one with a list called “Leadership points I think are important.” Not a titillating title, but I was happy to see I documented three truths about leadership that relate to the relevancy and benefits of Leadership Loudoun.
Truth #1: Leadership is a constant. Local governments and businesses need leaders and people want to grow as leaders. One Chamber partnership and 500 graduates prove that the enthusiasm for a program to develop leadership talent in Loudoun has been a constant.
Just shy of our 25th year, Leadership Loudoun has endured time and the changing culture of Loudoun. The program benefits have also remained constant such as participants growing as leaders and making genuine connections with each other. This year, a new benefit is the Chamber partnership which gives the class access to respected leaders for mentoring and provides resources for continuous program improvements. Too, there are positive program changes such as expanded study and small groups working as mini think tanks to solve community issues.
Truth #2: Leadership has no simple definition or direct path. The copy cat approach to leadership has been replaced with creating and communicating leadership in a way that reflects the individual. Class days inspire your leadership from the inside out. Through experiential learning and reflection, each participant drafts a definition of leadership that is based on their values, style and experiences. This is a free range opportunity to explore leadership and then blaze a trail that you define and design.
Truth #3: Leadership is a personal choice. Everyone can be a leader in some way. Leadership opportunities exist across the spectrum of life whether the challenge is accepted or not. Leadership Loudoun is an open laboratory where you can test your skills or develop new competencies critical to your success. In the lab, there is room to study your leadership style in personal and professional situations. The extent to which you use the program experience is your choice. The constant here is that it is a safe environment where you can stretch and challenge yourself. This is a benefit to professionals at every level.
A Leadership Loudoun truth is that its best benefit is the unexpected. This one is unique to you and cannot be revealed unless you apply—no lie. Application deadline is June 12.
Tanya Bittenbender is the Leadership Loudoun Program Coordinator. She buys decorative journals and leadership books habitually. She encourages readers to apply for the Leadership Loudoun Class of 2016 before time runs out. Visit www.leadershiploudoun.org.