12 emerging leaders speak up
A group of participants in our last two cohorts reflect on their High Potential Diverse Leaders experience, highlighting what was especially valuable in helping advance their personal leadership journey.
Top row from left to right: Betty Barnard, Leann Malone, Latashia Hughes
Bottom row from left to right: Steffani Salter, Chris Latson, Eddrena Clark
"As a result of the HPDL program, I’ve made my greatest professional leap, from potential leader to intentional leader. The peer group meetings, homework, and courses enabled me to think critically about how to apply the knowledge and skills I have acquired, and to learn from my cohort’s experiences."
Betty Barnard, Planning and Policy Development Specialist, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
"HPDL prepared me for the leadership opportunities arising from our recent merger. My effectiveness depends on how well I know my style, remain authentic, and help others grow as leaders. I find myself frequently referring back to what I learned in HPDL to make sure this is what I’m doing."
Leann Malone, Development Director, New American Pathways
"The HPDL program taught me how to lead with a new perspective, providing me with the skills necessary to communicate, achieve alignment and build commitment between senior management and the front line."
Latashia Hughes, Director of Institutional Advancement Services, Georgia Piedmont Technical College
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"I discovered that you cannot develop yourself as a leader without developing yourself as a person. HPDL revealed to me that leadership is not something that is limited to the workplace: It is a way of thinking and being."
Steffani Salter, Transitional Housing and Outreach Advocate, YWCA of Northwest Georgia
"I’ve learned that I must be adaptable to change, and breed innovation. I understand that, alone, I can create incremental change, but that through collective leadership, we can create a paradigm shift, maximizing outcomes."
Chris Latson, Program Manager, Future Foundation
"Learning about the “5 leadership levels” was an eye-opener. I had the mistaken impression that I was further along on my leadership journey, which was a sobering revelation. The 360 was another “a-ha” moment for me in terms of understanding of my leadership approach."
Eddrena Clark, Program Manager, Future Foundation
Top row from left to right: Gretchen Gigley, Danielle Ayers, Ebony Webber
Bottom row from left to right: Joshua Jefferies, Michael Wall, Erica Rabhan
"First and foremost, my definition of what leadership means expanded: Leadership is much more than project and people management. It’s about empowering others to meet their goals, innovation and the ability to implement a vision, social influence and social responsibility."
Gretchen Gigley, Director of Education, The Clean Air Campaign
"Not only did the 360 affirm how I should continue collaborating with our affiliates, but taught me that they wanted to work more closely with me on decision-making throughout the network."
Danielle Ayers, Senior Director of Affiliates, toolBank USA
"The best moment for me was the 360 assessment. Each session allowed me to examine myself and identify areas for improvement, as well as recognize my current strengths."
Ebony Webber, Chief Officer of Operations, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences
"I especially enjoyed the coaching workshop with Catherine Perry. She suggested I ask my team the simple question, “What would make this easier?” I led a strategic planning exercise and asked them to write the answer to that question for every single part of our recruitment process. The results have been great, [including] a list of out-of-the-box ideas to make our processes better."
Joshua Jefferies, Program Director, Posse Foundation
"The 360 confirmed some theories I had about my strengths, but was especially helpful by pointing out the areas where I needed to improve. Some of them were surprising, and kicked off serious but beneficial conversations with my co-workers. It’s making me more accountable to myself, which also helps my team."
Michael Wall, Director of Programs, Georgia Organics
"Taking the 360 assessment was an opportunity to see if my attempt at change has worked. Many of the things I’ve been working on have improved, like asking people to explain their thought process before assuming anything."
Erica Rabhan, Regional Director of Development, American Jewish Committee Atlanta