It's July, and the streets (and parks) of Victoria are filled with visitors and locals soaking up the warmth and enjoying all of the beauty and excitement that our city offers.
Here at Leadership Victoria, we are preparing excitedly for the 15th class of our Community Leadership Development Program. We phone nearly 200 employers in the area to invite them to support an employee, and we reach out to community activists and volunteers who may want to invest in their own development over the next year.
Our class of 2016 is about half-full right now, and there are three weeks to go until our application deadline. The diversity and quality of applicants is amazing this year - our 15th graduating class will certainly make a big impact on Greater Victoria! I can't wait to see what they get up to in their Community Action Projects.
If you, or someone you know, are looking for a way to get better connected to the community and learn some skills that will help you be an effective organizer and leader, why not make an application?
Leadership Victoria’s class of 2015 will celebrate visionary action and community service on Wednesday (May 13), as they mark the completion of the 14th cohort of this nine-month experiential community leadership development program. 21 graduates will receive their Certificates of Community Leadership and share the results of four innovative community action projects (CAPs).
The Leadership Victoria program addresses the social challenges of our community, while equipping participants from all walks of life with the skills to identify opportunities and put solutions into action.
- Orange Your Workplace created a learning workshop event for local employers to explore the issue of violence against women in the Victoria area, the negative impact the issue can have on business, and proactive steps that can be implemented to educate and support employees.
- Listen Up Victoria raised awareness of the healing power of music in order to increase opportunities for individuals to benefit from music therapy. In partnership with Music Heals and accredited music therapists, the Listen Up Victoria project led an iPod drive which attracted hundreds of donated mp3 players for use in music therapy.
- The Beyond the Box project raised awareness of the 133 kids currently on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria & Area (BBBS) waitlist and of the value of clothing donations and small household items in the agency’s operations.
- “Is Your Number Up?” used televised public service announcements, a social media campaign, and information sharing to increase the public's understanding of the importance of address visibility and to provide tips to maximize address visibility for emergency responders.
If you're a fan of TED Talks, you might have seen Simon Sinek's uplifting and thought-provoking talk, "Start with Why". He's got a book and a website which goes into more depth. As a new Executive Director here at Leadership Victoria, I've had a month "on the ground" to get to know this organization more, and what has struck me is that there's a very clear WHY for what we do. First, watch the video (or even the first few minutes of it).
So, what is Leadership Victoria's WHY? I'm going to venture my own opinion, and invite you to weigh in on the discussion as well over on our Facebook page.
We need leadership in our community to help us overcome challenges and accomplish the many things that add up to a vibrant, healthy, and sustainable community.
I could lay on the hyperbole here, by talking about the challenges we face due to climate change, social inequality, financial uncertainty, etc. The fact is, each individual in this community faces challenges - some of them are common, some are unique. What binds us all together is that we need leadership to chart the course, connect the dots and change the future.
There are countless opportunities and ways that leadership is practiced in the community, by people from all walks of life. Leadership Victoria exists to develop, support and celebrate all of those people who step out of their comfort zone and make things happen.
What do you think?
Calling all Leadership Victoria Alumni!
Would you like to relive the halcyon days of your Leadership Victoria program, while competing for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the Steamship Grill? Of course you would! And it's easy...
All you have to do is:
- Write a short poem (haiku, sonnet, free-form, e.e. cummings, whatever format floats your boat) describing something you loved about your Leadership Victoria experience.
- Submit it via direct message to Leadership Victoria on Facebook, via email, or post it on your own blog and send us a link via either of those channels. We'll post your poem to our Facebook wall. (if you don't see it go on our wall within 24 hours, nudge us with a phone call at 250-386-2269, because sometimes technology fails).
- Share your post as widely and shamelessly as possible, while encouraging your friends to consider applying for the 2015-16 Leadership Development Program.
- The entry that receives the most "Likes" on our wall by May 31, 2015 at 8pm will WIN!
- Claim your prize and enjoy an afternoon at the Steamship Grill with your fellow community leaders.
Ready? Set? GO!
This fascinating report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy outlines the role that leadership development plays in social change and community health, and how grantmakers can see value from their investments in leadership development programs. Some of the key take-away points for the average community member include:
1. This Quote:
Unless we can figure out what is behind the nonprofit world's chronic underinvestment in leadership and turn things around, we will continue to overlook one of the most important ingredients of positive social change. Investing in leadership doesn't just deliver higher performance; it can also deliver a better, more equitable world."
- Ira Hirschfield, President of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
2. Three important ways in which leadership development contributes to achieving real results:
- It disrupts usual ways of thinking and builds the networks needed to win. Leadership development goes beyond the individual; it often can lead to collaborative leadership in cooperation or coalition with other leaders who share values or goals.
- It prevents burnout. Progressive leadership development understands that self-care frees us to care for, nurture and encourage others.
- It has a multiplier effect on organizations. It supports a strong "bench" of secondary or tertiary leaders at grantee organizations and in groups of organizations. It can build the capacity of people who never would have self-identified as leaders before.
3. Leadership development is necessary to effect transformational change in our communities.
The power of leadership is multi-faceted: it nurtures individuals, builds lifelong relationships, fosters collaboration and makes significant contributions to movement-building by providing the space for unforeseen cross-issue work.
In summary: Leadership development is anything but something "extra" for our community.
Hello! I'm Susan Low, the new Executive Director at Leadership Victoria. Since you're seeing this, you're also viewing our new website! This site will be evolving over the next few months as we begin adapting to some new systems in the LV World Headquarters (aka our office).
This blog will be a home for commentary about community leadership, news from our programs and opportunities for the Leadership Victoria family of participants, coaches, mentors, facilitators, volunteers, alumnis, sponsors and partners to grow and share together.