This morning, I participated in the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce (www.dallasblackchamber.org or @dalblkchamber) Leadership Retreat, and for the first time in three years, I was just a board member; not the leader. I wasn’t the person who was stressed, the one who wants to ensure the logistics is handled appropriately. Just Matt Houston, the DBCC Board Member who can (for at least a few months) chime in and provide context so the transition can run smoothly. It was an AMAZING feeling.
About halfway in our meeting, I began reflecting on several things:
- There is a lot of talent in this organization; both on the board as well as the staff
- We have come A LONG WAY in terms of priorities, programming, and positions within the chamber. Three years ago, we didn’t have effective online capabilities with a website that was 10 years old!
- The chamber has a totally different staff then my election night September of 2012. 100% turnover. Both a good and a bad thing, but I’ll talk about that some other time.
- All the things that were frustrating DURING the storm actually helped our organization as we are more relevant to our members, partners, and the community.
- I’ve learned SO MUCH about business, politics, management, and purpose as head of a 90-year old organization. Not just because I received my MBA during this time, but because I’m able to help businesses that I weren’t directly affected by…
- To grow into leadership, it’s so important for people to volunteer/contribute to an org outside of your job or family. Volunteering truly makes you a vessel for the community, and it’s my belief that God wants us to experience that so we can be more like him…
Each one of these bullet points can be it’s own blog entry (and you may see them soon), but my main point for this piece is to complete the race; I see the importance of participating in the complete cycle of your leadership by willingly becoming a “regular” member again.
Most people believe the end of your leadership stint happens on the last day of office, but that’s not true. One must transition back to the masses, and allow your experiences as a leader mold your current perspective of the org, assist in recruiting, and strengthen your advocacy work among your peers. I have become a better DBCC member now that I’ve been Chair, and I’m so excited!
Now, I get to see all of the fruits of our work, while helping future leadership mold/develop their legacy for the org.