“Emerging Leaders” 2017 Helps the Movement’s Future Find its Voice

2017 Emerging Leaders candidates began their career advancement training in March.

When I got the call that I was the scholarship winner for the Emerging Leaders Program, I was shocked. My lack of confidence in my ability was very apparent. As I spoke with previous alumni from the Emerging Leaders Program I was advised to “be open”.  I became excited because I knew that I would be able to improve on my leadership abilities after hearing from others how it changed them.

As I walked from my car to the building, I was nervous and uncertain of what I would encounter at Emerging Leaders.  I pictured people that were executives or branch managers; people that already were leaders in their credit union. As I entered the building and rode the elevator with several others who were also attending the class, I became more relaxed as we started talking and getting to know each other.  Several were in supervisory roles and several of us were not. We circled the chairs to find the binder with our name on it and I became curious about the methods that would be used.

Peter Myers and Tim Tolliver from DDJMyers Advancing Leadership Institute began the class by describing this learning experience as a place of awakening and the class was our “dojo”– a training center. We were asked to “be open and put it on the mat”.  Putting it on the mat meant that we were stepping forward  allowing our teachers and the cohort to help stretch and enable each other to grow in our leadership abilities.

We moved into several activities. One of the hardest was when we practiced “presence through centering.” I learned that my presence is how I handle myself in a situation. Through centering, I can focus my energy and be ready for action. There were several moments where we were all standing tall, chest cavity open, not leaning forward, or back, or to the side, and breathing. At first it was awkward, but by the end of the class it was very normal and comfortable. I could speak with confidence; the same confidence in my body came through my words. It was amazing!

Tim said, “Change is the constant companion of progress” and he is right.  I am perfecting my new skills and using them every day. I don’t always remember them in the moment, but I think about the situation after and ask, “what will I do next time?”  After the class, I am aware that I avoid using words such as ” try” and “possibly.” and I am now using language that shows my new-found confidence. This is not just language I use verbally, but also in my self-talk.

I look forward to changes that I will be making as I read the articles, practice the models provided, and work on the project. I know that all of these will help fine tune what I want my leadership to look like.

Editor’s Note: Click here to read more about Emerging Leaders, or contact Northwest Credit Union Association’s Program Manager, Kaitlin Ramos, at 503.350.2208 or kramos@nwcua.org

Posted in Around the NW.