Leadership Lessons from the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program

Written by: Karla Isley

The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.– Harvey Firestone

We’ve all heard the quote that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with or are familiar with the notion that who you spend time with is who you become.

At United Way, we are fortunate to have some of our communities’ brightest and most talented leaders serve as volunteers. These extraordinary leaders give of their time and energy to share their experiences and knowledge to help each of us grow as leaders and advocates. As each of us learn, our workplaces are enhanced with more talent and our community becomes a better, stronger place to call home. In this month’s issue, we’re giving you the opportunity to “meet” extraordinary leaders that volunteer their time as mentors and speakers for our United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program.

These speakers and their valuable lessons are examples of the opportunities, within this program and in general, United Way is committed to providing for those involved with our work. By advancing our own knowledge, and learning to lead and inspire, we can exponentially change our community’s culture and values for generations.

Leadership development is more important than ever. New and complex challenges highlight the need for developing the talent and leadership skills of our workforce and our community members. It is imperative that we are encouraging employees, colleagues, and one another to develop leadership skills that will continue to propel us to success as a community.

Karla Isley
Karla Isley, President & CEO, United Way of Cass-Clay

Leadership development is a lifetime journey, not a quick trip.

– John C Maxwell

Each year, United Way invests in a group of 35 women to encourage them on their leadership development journey through the 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program. The purpose of the program is to strengthen leadership skills and confidence, enhance the impact of women across our workplaces, homes, community, and above all inspire collaboration and unity.

While we are excited to introduce you to the 35 local women participating in the program this year, we are ecstatic to be able to share with you – our greater community – and inspire each of you to continue on your own leadership development journey by experiencing some of the same leadership lessons as this year’s participants.

Great leaders encourage leadership development by openly developing themselves.– Marshall Goldsmith

At United Way, we want to inspire our community to focus on the growth and development of people because we know that we will need innovative leaders to find solutions to our communities’ biggest challenges. United Way works to bring together community leaders, nonprofit organizations, companies, volunteers, and donors to find solutions to community issues such as student success, hunger, homelessness, and lifting families out of poverty – issues that impact each of us as leaders and community members. We invite you to learn more about United Way of Cass-Clay’s vision and our 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program at unitedwaycassclay.org. I am excited for the future of our community as I see people investing in themselves, just as you are in reading this article, to be the best leaders we can be, and inspiring and encouraging others to do the same.

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