• Sherry

Three Talents, Three Voices from the 2020 REACH group

Updated: 3 days ago

Listen to our learners from the 2020 REACH group. These are just a few of the talented professionals that have shared their perspectives on their experience. I asked each of them the same three questions and I hope you enjoy their heartfelt, honest reflections.


Lena – Product Pricing at Experian


What was the benefit of being in a learning community?

One of the most valuable aspects of the program was the opportunity to listen to and learn from a variety of perspectives. The discussions allowed me to evaluate the effectiveness of different strategies to address the business and personal impact of current economic and social issues facing our companies. Listening to the experiences and feelings of others led to stronger awareness of how people process events differently and reinforced the importance of seeking out other perspectives when making decisions.


What difference did it make for you and your organization?

Social and emotional intelligence are imperative to successful leadership. The program’s focus on mindfulness and communication helped establish foundational tools to prepare me to further hone these skills through everyday work experiences. Since completing the program, I’ve specifically noticed a change in my perspectives and thought process as I work through challenging conversations, which has helped improve my communication across teams.


What would you say to a peer who came to you and asked if they should sign up for this?

Openness is key to success in this program. One of the greatest learning opportunities was to explore my drivers, values, and experiences, to understand how they shape who I am and want to be as a leader. I think this program would be beneficial for all individuals who want a stronger connection to the work they do, but especially for those who are (or aspire to be) people leaders.


Natalie – Global Finance IT at Ingram Micro


What was the benefit of being in a learning community? The format provided space to reflect, and take stock of the decisions I've made, both personally and professionally, which have shaped the person I am today - an analysis which also informs the person I am hoping to become. Being able to bounce ideas off the peer group, and listen-in on others’ journeys, created a full sense of perspective that is almost impossible to find alone.


What difference did it make for you and your organization?

The program helped sharpen principles that I can now use in my professional life. It reminded me to connect the 'what' to the 'why' and it reminded me that leadership is a process, always evolving. This program also showed me that effective decision making is amplified when you have a network of strong support. These principles shape actual working skills, which make a difference in my own growth as a leader, and, in turn, in the growth of the organization.


What would you say to a peer who came to you and asked if they should sign up for this?

This program gives back as much as you put into it. If you dedicate the time and effort, the payback will show in every group session, and often, the space between. If you're hungry to get at the root of your inner self - your principles, values and drivers - and if you want to meet some pretty cool people along the way, I cannot recommend this program enough. To top off the growth experience, the mentorship you'll gain from both Sherry and Tammy alone, are priceless gems. Not only do they help guide you in your professional career, but they truly care about your personal growth.


Courtney – Edwards Lifesciences, Manager, HR Business Partner


What was the benefit of being in a learning community?

There are so many benefits of being in a learning community. It’s really the dedication of the time and the space to determine who you want to be as a leader. Having others who are going through that same journey, and being able to listen to the similarities of the challenges you are experiencing and, as well as the uniqueness based on their role or industry, really helped to shape my personal leadership vision.


What difference did it make for you and your organization?

I honestly took so much away – and a lot of the ideas and activities that were shared I have found myself referencing when others are struggling. Personally, I had been hesitating on pursuing a Master’s degree because I had not figured out what my future held at my organization. But as I was developing my personal leadership vision/statement, and was able to really think about it and articulate it, I realized the benefit of what an advanced degree could give me in order to achieve this vision. I used much of the legwork in this learning community as part of my entrance essay for my MS program which I started in August 2020.

I also have to mention the amazing speakers that they brought that ended up being so relevant as we shifted into this remote-COVID world. They were highly engaging and really challenged you to think differently about the situations we all were being placed in, and how to help lead your organization through a crisis by being authentic and acting with empathy and care.


What would you say to a peer who came to you and asked if they should sign up for this?

Take a leap and just trust the process. Be open, authentic, and honest about what you are feeling – you will realize that others are in similar positions, or had similar experiences, and you can work through it together. You will exit as a better leader and have a set vision on how to advance in your organization.


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