This journey has consisted of twists and turns and highs and lows. I had dedicated a lot of time to planning these two years prior to the start of the fellowship and I just knew that everything would go according to plan. Although I heard in the initial retreat that things may change, it did not really sink in. The Bible says a man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps. Life has a way of being unpredictable. Being able to adjust, and look for growth opportunities has been challenging at times but overall rewarding. It also reinforces the idea that we learn by doing. So often when we share new ideas or concepts with others, its all through verbal communication. I realize just as I learned more about the trajectory of my fellowship journey through taking the next step, others may learn that way as well. As I interact with people desiring to build relationships and create change, I know that it is important to include them in the development of ideas. It is also important to recognize that change does not happen in a straight line, according to plans. Its organic and in collaboration sometimes the outcome maybe even better than what was planned.
My journey has not been an individual journey but has been inclusive of my entire family. A large portion of my plan includes obtaining a Healthcare MBA. My courses have include everything from Managing Self and Others to Managerial Accounting to Statistics from Decision Making. I have been able to share what I have learned with my family and in some instances; they have helped me when I needed help with classwork. Instead of my schooling taking time away from my family, it has brought us closer together. For example, my oldest daughter has a wealth of knowledge about conducting scientific research. In one of our assignments about survey questions, I talked with my daughter and she helped me to be able to quickly identify flaws in survey designs. These opportunities have helped them be more independent and more confident in their abilities to impact people around them. I appreciate that while my journey has been about my leadership development, it has also been about us, my family. I am excited about how it will grow to also be about my community.
Finally, my journey has helped me become more vulnerable and in that vulnerability, in my weakness, there is strength. The challenges of life seemed to multiply this last year with the loss of both my father and my sister within 9 months. However, in this time, I have been able to build stronger relationships with others. I think the perception in society is that leaders have it all together. There is even a quote that I liked in the past– “A leader knows the way, shows the way and goes the way”. But leadership is not about knowing the way, it is about influence, impact and inspiration. Part of being influential, making and impact and inspiring others is when people see you get up, pick up the pieces and move forward despite challenges and obstacles. I cherish the relationships that have sprouted and grown in this time.