If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams
One of my favorite trainers, Vicki Clark, recently shared this John Quincy Adams quote at AJLI’s annual fall leadership conference. It really resonated with me because I have always believed that all members of the JLP are leaders, not just those who serve on the board, the operations team or as a chair. The JLP offers many opportunities for members to demonstrate their leadership skills. These come in the form of service at community impact shifts, contributions to your committee, and even talking to friends, family and coworkers about the JLP to help people become familiar with the good work we are doing in our mission and our focus area. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these opportunities. You will get out of the JLP what you put into it.
Although it can sometimes be a challenge for JLP women, another important aspect of leadership is self-reflection and assessing your own personal needs. I’d like to encourage you to consider a few questions: What can the JLP do for you? What type of development opportunities do you want? What skills do you want to gain? If you do a deep dive into what you want out of your JLP experience and communicate your needs, we can better respond to them. Our members are the primary customer of the JLP. If members’ needs aren’t being met, we risk losing the ability to serve our secondary customer, the community.
This type of self-reflection has caused several members to take the lead and create new JLP groups. Members expressed an interest in training on public speaking and now we have a JLP Toastmasters Chapter starting this month. Members wanted more social interaction and now we have a moms group, a book club, a movie group and even a travel group. These groups exist not because the League took official action to create a new committee but because members who were interested in participating in these activities stepped up and took the initiative to lead. We don’t need a title to lead, we need a passion to do the things that interest us and courage to say yes when the opportunity presents itself.
Thank you to all of you who have said yes to the JLP, yes to leading a group of women, yes to improving our community, yes to being engaged and involved and yes to developing and growing your skills. We are all a work in progress and I am still learning from many of you every day. I am forever grateful for each member in this organization both within the JLP and other Leagues around the country that have shared their skills and knowledge with me to help me grow, learn and lead.