“Who Am I?” Lessons from the 2011-12 Leadership Academy

On Thursday, September 13, 17 Valencia employees graduated from the 2011-12 Leadership Academy, and are moving forward in their personal and professional lives with more than just the traditional definition of what makes someone a leader.

“The academy has inspired me to stay focused on the common goals of the organization,” said Jessica King, administrative assistant for institutional assessment. “My work, the work of my department, and the work of every other employee should be designed to enhance the organization as a whole. We must all work together to achieve greatness.”

Through a series of self-assessments, group activities and guest speakers, participants asked themselves “who am I,” “who do I want to be,” and “what does leadership really mean?”

Answering those questions and having honest peer-to-peer discussions was inspiring, especially for Heidi Shugg, coordinator of the Atlas outpost on the Osceola Campus, who said, “The academy has inspired me to put myself out there more.”

Now, Heidi has confidence and a “sense of satisfaction within myself that no matter what task, great or small, I can do it.”

When beginning their leadership journey one year ago, many of the participants had never met.

Today, you can find the group leveraging their relationships with one another to move work forward at the college. These new relationships are what Gwendolyn Noel, technical document specialist, identified  as her greatest takeaway.

Andrew Becker, assessment coordinator, agrees, and said, “The most important thing I learned from the academy is that my fellow workers are the best resource to enhance my leadership abilities.”

This year’s academy was facilitated by Amy Love, career program advisor, and Fontella Jones, academic advisor, both of whom were participants of the 2010-11 Leadership Academy.

For questions on how you can participate in the next open Leadership Academy, contact Erin Tuttle, coordinator of supervisor development, at etuttle2@valenciacollege.edu or at extension 8257.

Read past articles about the 2011-12 Leadership Academy below:

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