By Leslie Collins
Almost a year and a half ago, I decided to change my direction. I had hit the wall for movement in my job, and I saw my peers connecting, advancing and finding meaningful connections. Why couldn’t I do that? I wanted to become more involved in this city and make connections too. I joined the Minerva Foundation for BC Women’s Learning to Lead™ (L2L) organizing committee. Not thinking much of what I was getting into, I expected some logistics work and general organization for the weekend. I had hoped to meet some interesting people, and start to set down some networking roots. What I didn’t anticipate was how much I would be changed in the process, and how easily I could meet an expansive group of strong and driven women who I could learn from and grow to know very well.
Minerva’s L2L program is a weekend-long series of workshops and lessons based on the Minerva’s values-based leadership model. It invites Grade 11 Students, Emerging Leaders (women new or transitioning careers) and Community leaders (accomplished women well-established in their careers) to partake in activities concerning themselves, their values and leadership styles, as well as effective communication methods. It’s an invaluable leadership development opportunity, and an amazing way to establish mentoring relationships for emerging professionals.
When I started this whole process I thought I had much to learn, but very little to teach. I quickly realized how daft this notion was. I’m not going to lie, I did feel somewhat like an underachiever around the grade 11 students! Their depth and self-reflection at such a young age was astounding. Their accomplishments were amazing, and it wasn’t uncommon to hear these young ladies speak about their very own non-profit organizations. Being exposed to this passion and an anything-is-possible attitude was invigorating. Throughout the year I reflect back on the L2L weekend to once again find my inspiration for possibility.
Here’s the best thing: we’re accepting applications for Emerging Leaders! I can’t stress enough what a great opportunity this is for young professionals to grow their leadership skills and meet a group of inspiring women. Being a part of the L2L weekend was a truly life-changing experience, and I have established life-long connections with amazing women as a result of the event.
Check out all of the details here: http://www.theminervafoundation.com/learn-and-lead/leadership-development/learning-to-lead/learning-to-lead