Learning Logs: Fellows

Updates and Insights from Bush Fellows During Their Leadership Journey

Yuri Nakasato

When the Bush Foundation told you to be bold and ambitious, they really meant it. You have to really commit to it and have a developmental plan with measurable outcomes and results. Winning the fellowship is a validation from the past and it is a time for celebration and assimilation. But most likely you have not changed the world yet. If anything, you have mobilized your energy for action. You have potential, you have been told, and this is an opportunity. So use the momentum wisely but concentrate in the here and now. 

Ernesto Velez Bustos

How has your understanding of your own leadership changed through the Fellowship to date? How do you now view the role of self-care in sustaining your ability to lead? 

Dave Smiglewski
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All journeys have an element of anticipation and so it was with me. I have long wanted to return to school and finish up my bachelors degree and do further studies at the graduate level. Anticipating what that might entail was a bit mysterious in light of my many years away from school. 

Lisa Brunner
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In my journey with the Fellowship, I have learned that your plans can change because life does. To be able to value the changes and work through them is important in learning how to do your work in a manner that is effective and meaningful. My plans changed, not drastically, but I had to view my whole being in my work, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. I found I needed to weave in my spiritual wellbeing and practices as I believe my work is more than intellectual, it is also spiritual.

Eric Mahmoud
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My understanding of leadership has changed since I’ve become a Bush Fellow. I use to think that a leader was basically the one in charge of a particular domain.  I thought that the leader directs people to get things done.

Nevada Littlewolf

This Fellow's journey has been an exciting and unexpected opportunity to learn more about myself, my potential and my community. The Bush Leadership Fellowship has allowed me to return to college to complete my degree at the University of Minnesota Duluth's School of Fine Arts. This Spring 2017, I will finally have my Bachelor's of Fine Arts and it feels incredible. The resources and support that Bush provided has made this feat less stressful and more realistic to achieve.

Trista Harris
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What stands out to you/has surprised you about your leadership development through the Fellowship to date?

I always thought leadership development was about sitting at the feet of experts. Someone who has the right philosophy or model and if I just spend enough time learning exactly how they see the world, then everything will line up for me. The problem with this is there are millions of experts and they have millions of points of view about the right way to be in the world.

Laura Connelly
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What stands out to you/has surprised you about your leadership development through the Fellowship to date?

Jennifer Almanza

After spending the first few months of fellowship stressing about how to incorporate a formal leadership training into my life (see early monthly logs) I was blessed with some other-worldly wisdom saying, “let that shit go”.  Since this revelation, I have taken an entirely organic approach to my leadership development. Instead of seeking teachers, workshops, and conferences in leadership, I have directed my attention and intention inward and accepted opportunities to “just show up”. Hands down, the most surprising take away of my leadership development is in fact, truly showing up.