I’m pleased to introduce guest blogger Zuzanna Szkudlarek, a Volunteer Victoria board member and member of our Emerging Leaders Network. In this post, Zuzanna writes about her great experiences (so far) as a member of the ELN. We’ve been truly fortunate to have Zuzanna participate in this Network as she is a true leader in action in our community.
Recently I was at a retreat with like minded people interested in bettering the community in Victoria. At the retreat were individuals from all sectors (nonprofits, government, and industry) ages ranging from 25-50 whereby five of us all had the commonality of being part of the Emerging Leaders Network (ELN). What struck me as amazing is the unspoken connection that already existed between us.
Throughout carefully planned workshops, inspiring seminars and informal social events over the last year and a bit, we have connected to the point where we have become more than simply a network of emerging leaders; we have grown to rely on each other for the support it takes to make effective changes in our community. The ELN has become a venue for aspiring leaders to bounce ideas, share frustration, celebrate successes, exchange resources and envision together what our communities can really look like with these partnerships – and frankly for many of us – this looks entirely more positive than it did a year and a half ago.
For many of us, the ELN has become an invaluable tool in self promotion, personal effectiveness, and professional development. I have had the opportunity myself to engage with the network on many different levels. Over the last year I was able to practice networking skills, challenge myself in a public speaking course, become proficient in decision making, get inspired by Victoria greatest past and current leaders, and have learned countless new skills. For me the ELN has opened the door to many opportunities and gave me the confidence and tools to move to the perfect job, which a year ago what not so obvious.
Being a part of this group empowers each and every one of us in different ways. I have met many wonderful people, some of which have moved on to greater roles in our community. Our community is ever changing and at lightning speed. The issues facing the sustainability of our community require a strong and present core of individual who truly care about our future. The Emerging Leaders Network is in my humble opinion an effective venue in creating a strong community and civil society. I am so happy that Volunteer Victoria had the foresight in knowing that individual leadership development contributes to a strong society.
I am truly excited to be a part of this movement for community change and ever so please that the ELN is there to guide the process be the agent for change.