Adjust and adapt or allow the circumstances to dictate our ability to do leadership and empowerment?
At 630pm on March 11th, 2020, I completed my final “pre-coronavirus” leadership development event. It was the fourth event (out of 6) booked for the week of March 9th – an excitingly busy early Spring week for Empower Leadership! I checked my phone after packing up and hopping in my car and discovered a few text messages about the uncertainty of the after-school leadership workshop that was supposed to take place. Soon thereafter, news of cancellations began flowing in – Winter high school sports were postponed, schools were being closed, professional and collegiate sports were put on hold, and many businesses transitioned to remote working and, in some instances, layoffs and closures.
We were in the midst of the busiest first quarter for Empower Leadership since opening in 2009 – plenty of youth leadership and corporate team building events on the schedule and, for the first time in my life, no snow on the ground in February and March. Suddenly, everything came to a screeching halt. Adjust and adapt, or not? Empower has been my life for over eleven years, “not” was not an option!
Embarking on a New Adventure
The first programmatic adaptation to the COVID-19 situation was to take an adventure into the world of podcasting. Outside of listening to a handful of podcasts, I knew very little about what I was getting involved in. After quite a bit of research on hosting sites, equipment, podcast structures, and more, I purchased some recording equipment and got to work on building out the Lead with Empower Podcast.
Facilitating leadership and team building adventures has been my main responsibility at Empower Leadership since we opened in 2009 – a podcast about leadership was a no-brainer! For years, I have witnessed many people, from youths to adults, hesitate to, or even flat-out decline, embracing opportunities to lead despite the encouragement and coaching they would receive from our team and their teammates. What could be done to inspire those who hesitate to discover their leadership ability?
That desire to inspire was the impetus for the Lead with Empower Podcast. The goal was to connect with a diverse group of people who are out in the field actually leading – teachers, school administrators, coaches, athletes, entrepreneurs, and community leaders – to learn about their background, journey, values, strengths, and weaknesses as leaders. Over the course of the first season, I hoped to help listeners identify the common qualities shared by great leaders while inspiring them to lead at home, at school, on the field, or at work!
Season 1 Highlights – The Lead with Empower Podcast
When Season 1 concluded, I completed 24 episodes with 22 different guests. Over the next four weeks, we will share highlights from those episodes in a weekly blog. At the conclusion of our highlight blogs, we will compile a list of the leadership qualities, wisdom, and insight that our tremendous guests shared with hopes of creating a one-stop shop for those looking to discover their leadership greatness!
Everyone has the ability! Leadership is a skill that can be learned, improved, and developed. I hope you find an episode or two that truly connects with you; creating that spark for you to go out and become the best leader you can be!