Lara Lauzon is a graduate from the first cohort of Leadership Victoria! If you're involved in health, wellness and exercise in Greater Victoria, chances are pretty good that you have met Lara or been influenced by some of her work. We asked Lara to answer five questions for our November 2015 Alumni Profile.
1. What kinds of leadership activities are you currently pursuing?
As an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria I teach a required course for our Recreation and Health Education students titled EPHE 252 Leadership Methods for Recreation and Health Education. I am also on a number of university committees that include leadership in the area of health and wellness for faculty, staff and students.
2.Which of the five Practices of Exemplary Leadership do you feel you excel at the most, and why? (recap – those are Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, Encourage the Heart)
I will suggest that I practice all five of the examples of Exemplary Leadership – depending on the situation. I attempt to Model the Way as an instructor in another course I teach titled EPHE 142 – Personal Health, Wellness and Potential as well as EPHE 252 – Leadership Methods by choosing to model healthy lifestyle choices and model Servant Leadership.
Inspire a Shared Vision and Challenge the Process – both link to the work I do as a committee member and workshop leader championing faculty, staff and student health and wellness initiatives on campus. In addition to supporting academic excellence I want our campus to be known as a healthy and well place to work and study.
Enabling Others to Act – links specifically to the type of coursework and projects that students in both classes I teach this term are required to complete.
In EPHE 142 – students are invited to work in small groups to complete a Community Legacy Project – which was added to this course after my involvement in Leadership Victoria.
Here are some photographs of the Poster presentation day where students share the community service work they did in their small group.
Students in EPHE 252 are also required to work in the community as a ‘leader’ for 15 to 20 hours of leadership work. I wrote a research paper about the leadership work that the students complete that was published in an International Journal last year.
Encourage the Heart – includes everything I do to support the Teaching, Research and Scholarship and Community Service portfolios of my job as an Assistant Professor. I think my ‘real’ job at UVic is to spread joy!
3. What community issues offer the most compelling call or need these days?
When asked this question I sometimes have to step back and take a breath. There are so many different issues needing attention. Climate change comes to mind – immediately, because it impacts the health and wellness of our entire planet which of course impacts human beings and all other living things. So I have made a much greater effort to support local environmental initiatives and now financially support some environmental agencies – in addition to the health agencies that I often donate to.
I am an Active Health Advocate and believe that community agencies and municipal governments could help with ‘health and wellness promotion’ on a grander scale when engaged in strategic planning processes. As a member of some Oak Bay agencies such as Friends of Uplands Park and the Community Association of Oak Bay, I have learned that grassroots leadership can make a difference.
4. What advice, resource or tool for leadership have you discovered that you’d like to share with fellow alumni?
One of my favourite Leadership Models is the Four Frame Model by Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal. Their book Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership (5th edition is the latest I believe) has guided me in my leadership and active health work. I highly recommend the book and the model.
5. Share something silly or heartwarming that makes you smile. (A quote, link, picture, etc)
My quote of the day – is ‘Health + Wellness = Potential’
Thank you for the opportunity to share some thoughts about leadership.