It is my privilege to share with the community and future Bush Fellow’s applicants, the lessons learned during my leadership development, and the experiences that are now shaping my leadership characteristics of leading with courage, dignity and compassion. I have come to realize that leadership is the product of stakeholders and influenced by one’s aspirations, family values, relations and real life’s accomplishments and failures. I am deeply thankful to the Bush Foundation and my family for their support, inspiration and mentoring through this journey.
“A key aspect of leadership is honest and continuous self-reflection” by Harvard instructor Betsy Meyers 2016
This summer was a memorable time as a growing leader and husband. I attended the Senior Executive in State and Local Government course at the Harvard Kennedy School for three weeks. This three-week program allowed me to become part of an eco-system of 64 leaders from around the nation to work together on real-life case studies on how to create engagement and develop solutions in the topic of community trust and law enforcement in collaboration.
The most important lessons learned during this experience was understanding my leadership strengths and weaknesses to sustain and accept the challenges that come in working in partnership in tackling complex challenges facing communities and finding my role in this large web of relationships, ideas and influences that determine morale and productivity.
It is important to be cognizance of one’s perspectives, biases, values, and cultural differences and how these differences can fracture valuable relationships and hinder services to the community. It is vital to take time to reflect upon different views of the world and how your communication techniques or lack of may build walls to healthy relations and solutions.
We live in a world that is rapidly changing and is interconnected globally with use of technology. Therefore, approach others as a global leader, think globally and value diverse views and opinions.
“You- Leading Your Own Life”
As I embark in the most important journey of my life, I reflect about the individuals and communities I will have an impact on. My most important thoughts and feelings are the sacrifice and support of my family while I travel around the United States developing my leadership. Please take time to develop a blue print or road map to reflect on the following:
- What does success look like at home and at work?
- Where would you be in 1, 5 & 10 years?
- Would your Bush Fellowship plan include success in the areas of leadership, dangers of leadership, coaching, relationships and self-care.
It is my duty to remind you about the “Dangers of Leadership,” which comes with the honor and title of Bush Fellow. Leadership On The line, by Marty Linski, discusses the dangers of becoming marginalized, when exercising leadership and upsetting the balance of an organization’s culture. Please use a balance in your leadership decisions and take time to self-reflect to get a better perspective of the entire picture and role of all the players and you can begin to develop valuable relationships and strategies to achieve your goals.
Take full advantage of the financial support the fellowship provides and practice self-care and. Consider setting aside responsibilities and goals and spend time with your loved ones. I am always checking in with everyone and make sure there is a good balance in my personal and professional life. Use this time to reflect and balance your family, recharge your body, soul and re-frame the blue print to your success.
“Body and Soul” Excerpt from Leadership On The Line,
The title, Bush Fellowship, has it privileges and will open many opportunities and doors. I have had the privilege to be invited to a Public Safety Summit at Harvard, round table discussions which have nationwide implications in the public safety sectors and communities. Please take full advantages of these opportunities, and at the same time be aware that these opportunities may give you a feeling of power control; therefore, manage these feelings wisely with family support, humbleness and reflection.
“Lead With Compassion” by Harvard Professor Ron David, 2016
The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas by selecting proven leaders to improve communities. I am learning that the best way to create change is by influencing policy. For leaders working in collaboration with others. You will get the opportunity to join other leaders and policy makers in crafting policies, do so with compassion and make sure these policies are fair and just for our communities.
Finally, when the things get rough, remember that you are not alone in this experiences and you are now traveling with many Bush Fellows and loved ones. It is fine to rely on the support and guidance of others.