Report date
January 2021
Learning Log

During the Fellowship, my understanding of my leadership has changed significantly. In the beginning, the pursuit of knowledge and discerning between opportunities to best apply my expertise and networks was priority. Those two priorities will always be a part of my leadership focus, but I have combined them with two other leadership priorities that have drastically changed the way I lead: delegation and collaboration. These two new priorities have done more than changed my own personal leadership style, they have made me reposition myself as a leader in the community more broadly.
As one of the only leaders in my community that performs the services that I do, delegation has always been somewhat difficult. Within the span of the Bush Fellowship I have come to understand my strengths and weaknesses better and have intensely invested in employees, other leaders, and businesses that I know I can trust and that hold the same mission that I do close to their hearts. This has transformed the concept of delegation for me. Delegation is not simply handing over tasks to people I am taking a risk with; delegation is something I intensely apply and invest in my relationship-building skills to create partnerships that span across sectors in which I can confidently draw on when I need it. My network of those that I now delegate to are people and organizations that ultimately provide me with a peace of mind that has in turn affected my self-care/stress reduction goals in a positive way. I also see invested delegation to be an opportunity to help my closest partners develop along with me. We have successfully delegated marketing projects, editing, and communications. Those that I delegate to are now a critical part of a network that I trust to help accomplish my visions.
Collaboration has probably been the biggest change to the way I lead. I first embraced it out of necessity, but now has become a paramount element in my leadership style. I have always had the goal of closing the opportunity gap for minorities as the forefront of my business’ mission. In the past I worked one-on-one with many of my clients to achieve whatever goals were laid out in our business contracts. This year, however, I have taken on new projects that I found absolutely essential to closing the opportunity gap that require more than my one business can single-handedly make happen. My leadership skills remain a driving force behind the projects I take on, but having the expertise made our projects dynamic and effective. I find now the collaboration is impacting the community to a way that I have not imagined before.
For the last six months, we have been working with our Saint Cloud Local School District to create the first Somali Language literacy program for Somali speaking students- our local newspaper has featured our partnership we have with the school district. In our School District, 53 percent of the students are students of color- that is why it is crucial for the creation of Somali language for those Somali native speaking students.
Besides working with the School District, we have also taken on a project with a local Credit Union to increase employment options to minorities, introduce previously unknown financial resources to minority businesses and individuals, and train their leadership in all aspects of diversity and inclusion. Connecting minorities with untapped financial resources and diversifying their workforce has also tested and expanded my collaboration ability. These new projects increased my ability to help others leverage their skills and experience while managing different expectations and experiences.
Previously, I viewed myself as a change agent with the weight of my community on my shoulder, now as a leader who has significantly enhanced and honed my collaboration and delegation skills, I see and feel my role as a driver of change and clear goals strengthened. Lastly, collaboration and delegation have given me a clarity of mind that ultimately enhanced my ability to focus on self-care; and elevated my mission to one that has a stronger foundation than ever, a foundation that benefits the entire community and places me as a more effective servant leader.