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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Back attack!!

So I have had an incredibly refreshing past few days with a few bumps on the road. I've learned some lessons and cried some tears and all that jazz.

I have learned that I am human. I make mistakes but my past does not dictate my future...unless I let it.

I am in control of my choices and my future and the decisions I make have real tangible consequences.

I am a stewart of many resources. One of those is the people in my life. I have a duty to God and the community of all of us to treat each person with respect and love.

I forgive myself.

I forgive others.

One of the most profound lessons I have gleaned from the events in the past few weeks is what style of leadership I would like to model as I grow.

(okay break, their is a tour of library graduate students behind me. They are interested in academic librarianship.Note to self. Sign?)

Servant leadership is the idea that leaders serve first, lead second. A model for this can be found in the Bible when Jesus spoke to the disciples and said:

The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

As I think about my second term and the influence I will have in the office, I have to consider what will my leadership style resemble. I hope that I can set a vision for our volunteers that will inspire them and bring our office to new heights. But ultimately I hope my role is one of service to our volunteers. I trully believe that if I empower them, guide them, train them and lead them then our client servive will be exceptional. If they feel comfortable and secure, than that translates into client successes. But its going to take a lot of work. Probably more work than I've ever committed to anything in my life.

But opportunities aren't just waiting for you. I have to take intiative. Make things happen.

In other news, I have no idea what to do with my life. I thought I was so unsure and maybe I am. Honestly I can't decide if the things I am being introduced to are shapping my future plans and that's why Im confused or I just want to do everything and that's why I'm confused. While I still believe that you spend your whole life figuring out, I just want to prepare for the next step. I just want to know where I'm going even if its a false idea. I don't like this wandering feeling.

I came into NSP pretty confident that my next step would be pursuing my Masters in Library and Information science and going on to a career in academic librarianship. Now I am not so sure.

I do know that I want to do something that is directly connected to service. I want to be involved with connecting those who have resources with those who need them. More concretly I would be interested in connecting large organizations with resources to nonprofits and to communities. I'd also be interested in ensuring that organizations maintain social responsibility. Example: So I went to this corporate leadership breakfast hosted by this volunteer organization. And they were giving out awards yadda yadda yadda. And this one organization got an award for the amount of community service they did as well as how many volunteers they bring to events. Well this particular organization also pays horrible wages to their employees. Just not wages anyone can live off of. And I have to make this point (even though robert egger already made it in 'begging for change.') What if an organization sends an employee out to volunteer with a little kid from a poorer community teaching them to read. But the reason that kids parents can't be there teaching them to read is because they work for that same organization and they make so little in wages that they have to work multiple jobs. Or their stressed. Or whatever. Volunteering isn't always enough. We can be more responsilble stewards of each other and the resources we have. Start where you are and watch the change ripple...

So yeah I don't know where my strenghts are best suited. Oh and another thing. I want to be involved in developing and empowering leaderswho choose to commit to these values. Time will tell and hopefully season because the time of year to apply for grad schools is fast approaching.


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