A CU Rising Star Shares Insight from Emerging Leaders Training


Lindsey Hartelroad won the 2018 Strategic Link Tuition Contest to attend the Emerging Leaders program. She will be sharing her experiences with Anthem readers this year.

“If you want to be an extraordinary leader, you have to do something extraordinarily hard.”

Going into this program, I knew it was going to be challenging. I knew I was going to be completely out of my comfort zone, and that I was going to have to step up to the plate. After completing the first 3-day session, challenging feels like an understatement.

Have you ever tried to drink water from a fire hose? That’s what it felt like learning from Tim Tolliver, Vice President, and Peter Myers, Senior Vice President, of DDJ Myers.

I imagined a bunch of team-building exercises, probably some sort of presentation about ourselves, and of course the expected note taking of new terms and models that we would be learning. Did that include learning about the Japanese language, centering, tiger’s vs teacups, or the four seasons? Not exactly.

Being in a “DOJO” – a place of awakening. Being “centered” and finding your focus. Being a tiger– a go-getter, not a teacup– standing by waiting on someone else to take action. Being in Summer, Spring, Winter, or Fall in your professional, or personal life. These are all just some of the models we touched on in this first session, that were all eye-opening and enlightened us on how we can become better leaders.

We were asked to share our “leadership line” with the cohort, including high and low points throughout our lives, that helped us become the leaders we are today. I jumped in with both feet and shared how overcoming a significant struggle with college financing and coping with a devastating end to a personal relationship both severely impacted my life. I chose these moments, because these were times where I felt that I was really changed as a person, and as a leader. I had become resilient. I wasn’t going to let anything keep me down. Where did I learn that? Peter asks.  Now that was a stumper – one thing that both Tim and Peter of DDJ Myers are very good at. They ask you questions that really make you think – not just quickly spout off the “right” answer. This in itself, was a challenge.

Picture of Emerging Leaders Training

Tim Tolliver, DDJ Myers, guides Emerging Leaders participants through their first session in March.

The intensity of this program was quite intimidating at first, and yet everyone began to embrace it – because we wanted to. We were all there to accomplish the same goal – to develop our leadership abilities. For some that means being more confident, more trusting, more understanding or more influential.

One of the greatest parts about this program, is that we are all collectively working together – but on our individual selves. Probably a little more than anyone was initially comfortable with – but it is for that reason we are learning it’s okay to be uncomfortable. We are all choosing to move towards the discomfort because we see compelling possibilities for our leadership abilities. If we don’t take the chance, accept the challenge, and be the tiger –  we will remain unchanged.

This initial session has been empowering, inspirational, challenging, exhausting, and awakening.  I’m very excited for the opportunity to grow and be stretched in ways I never thought possible and anxious to see what great strides we can all accomplish in these next few months. It has already become very apparent, this will be an incredibly transformational experience.

Posted in Emerging Leaders.