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TOPIC: ELITE Leadership

Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 12 months ago #179

Hello fellow ELITE cohorts!!

I am Shawna Tate and I have the pleasure of working for one of the best community action agencies in the state of North Carolina, Blue Ridge Community Action in Morganton, NC.

Prior to my employment at BRCA, I had no knowledge of the community action field nor did I know what community action agencies' role in the community consisted of. So needless to say my experience at BRCA has been eye-opening to say the least.

I began my employment with BRCA 3 yrs ago as an Accounting Technician with a high concentration of my duties consisting of organizing, financial reconciling, and reporting for the Weatherization Department. Over time I became increasingly more involved in the Weatherization Department having become BPI, OSHA, CPR, Sustainability, and Radon certified. Who knew?

Last year I changed positions and currently serve as the Weatherization Assistant Coordinator. More recently in the absence of the Weatherization Coordinator, I have assumed the role of Acting Coordinator. Although at times the role is extremely challenging, it has allowed me to gain more experience managing people, budgeting, contract negotiation, bidding, etc.

I believe a good leader should have a number of qualities...too many to list. He/she should be resolute, a good listener, a good student, and be willing an able to adapt when needed.

My current Executive Director, Mattie Patterson, is the epitome of a GREAT leader. She has taught me to be more accepting of the different work ethics among staff. Which is extremely important when managing employees. She has encouraged me and envisioned things for me that I didn't see for myself. She has motivated me to want to become ELITE.

Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 12 months ago #180

To my fellow Elite Leaders:
My name is Nadine Finklea: currently I work at Community Action Partnership of Riverside County in Riverside, CA. My current position is a Community Service Assistant in the Energy Dept.
My previous employer was with a Prestige company at AM/PM ARCO Station, which allowed me to come into a leadership/management role as an assistant manager for 4 ½ years. By working at the convenient store it gave me the opportunity to grow, and discover some of my strengths. Which are customer service, training staff, and people skills. I believe by having the opportunity to grow there, it motivated me to seek what other opportunities were available for me. So my brother-in-law encouraged me to go and apply for a position with County of Riverside. I submitted my application with the TAP office and received the position with the County of Riverside as a Community Service Assistant.
I worked in this position for 1 ½ and then was blessed to become permanent, and currently my position is Senior Community Service Assistant in the Energy Dept.
I believe some of the qualities as defining a good leader is having Integrity, good character, visionary, someone who leads-helping others before themselves, leading by example. For example, Mrs. Lois Carson, who previously retired as the Director at our agency Community Action Partnership of Riverside, County. She found her passion as a leader in the community and for the community, that’s what made her a great leader. I believe when you find your passion you can better help others find their passion. Not only was she educated, she also had a great compassion with those she came in contact with, as well as those she mentored. As a leader the most that is important to me is Integrity, and then comes the leading trades.
The greatest skills/lesson take away I learned from Mrs. Carson is:
She was highly educated, and encouraged others to pursue higher education. The lessons I learned from Mrs. Carson was so many, but I’ll just list a few. She was very profound, and a great communicator, as well as a great listener. Last but not least, she was a woman of excellence.

Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 12 months ago #181

Some of the people that have influenced me and I look to as great leaders are my old supervisors Christine and Carmen. They both were exemplary leaders that led by example. They were caring and could empathise when dealing with difficult issues. They would not jump to the first conclusion. They would listen to all sides of an issue. They made me realize the importance and of the power of listening.

Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 12 months ago #182

Hello Everyone,

My name is Jeanette Bates. I began working at CAP Riverside as an Administrative Assistant in August, 2001. In 2004, I promoted to my current position as a Community Program Specialist I. My primary responsibilities are contract processing/management, procurement, facilities, fleet, and inventory management and information technology liaison.

Leadership qualities that I admire and influence me are integrity, work ethic, passion, vision, willingness to mentor and/or provide development opportunities, and compassion. I have been fortunate to have a mentor with almost every employer I have worked since I was sixteen years old. It’s difficult for me to narrow it down to just one individual who has had the greatest influence. They all have helped me to develop not only professionally, but personally as well. My first job was at a restaurant where the owner was a single mom who worked hard, saved her money and bought a franchise. She instilled in me that if you work hard, you can achieve your goals. Prior to coming to CAP Riverside, I worked with the Department of Mental Health as an office supervisor for thirteen years. The managers I worked with were all clinical social workers. Their level of compassion for those who were receiving services, but also for their employees, was inspiring and taught me to treat people who are seeking services with dignity and respect. One manager, who also had a Masters in Business Administration, provided me with my first lessons with analyzing business practices, trends, budgets and encouraged me to develop my first IDP. At CAP Riverside, I consider Maria Juarez as a mentor. Her passion and vision for Community Action is apparent in all she does. She encouraged me to pursue higher education and has provided professional development opportunities, such as ELITE.

Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 12 months ago #183

My name is Percy Manson. I am the Comptroller at Total Community Action, Inc. (TCA). Before coming to TCA, I was contracting with non-profits through-out the City of New Orleans as their fiscal monitor. The opportunity came available at TCA; therefore, I decided to take advantage of it. My current role is to oversee the accounting department to ensure that the agency is in compliance with the federal regulations. My background has been in finance for the past 30 years. I have work with non- profits for over 15 years. I previously work for another community action agency directly after college for about 6 years. Therefore, I am not new to community action. I am actually a product of the Head Start Program and the Summer Youth Program of the Jefferson Community Action Program. I believe that my experience in community action is what has helped my professional development and career success.

The qualities that define a good leader:
It is of utmost importance that a leader is trustworthy to lead others. A leader needs to be trusted and be known to live their life with honestly and integrity. A good leader “walks the talk” and in doing so earns the right to have responsibility for others. True authority is born from respect for the good character and trustworthiness of the person who leads.
A good leader is enthusiastic about their work or cause and also about their role as leader. People will respond more openly to a person of passion and dedication. Leaders need to be able to be a source of inspiration, and be a motivator towards the required action or cause. Although the responsibilities and roles of a leader may be different, the leader needs to be seen to be part of the team working towards the goal. This kind of leader will not be afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty.
A good leader is confident. In order to lead and set direction a leader needs to appear confident as a person and in the leadership role. Such a person inspires confidence in others and draws out the trust and best efforts of the team to complete the task well. A leader who conveys confidence towards the proposed objective inspires the best effort from team members.
The most influential leader that has influenced me professionally is my first supervisor, Dixie Williams. She led by example. She would not ask you to do anything that she would not do. She respected each employee and treated us the way she wanted to be treated. She taught me how to conduct myself in a professional environment. She took me to meeting and community events to expose me others. She was the Director of the community center in my neighborhood. She not only took out time with me but also with other youth in the community. She actually helped me become a better public speaker. She had all the qualities of a great leader. It’s been over 30 years since I’ve worked with Ms. Dixie but the skills and qualities that I learned from her are with me today.

Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 12 months ago #184

Hello my name is Angela Martin; I serve as the Projects Director for the Community Action Association of Alabama--located in Birmingham, AL. I've been in Community Action for three years and have enjoyed providing assistance to our 21 community action agencies. My past experience encompasses 12+ years in Human Service as a grant writer, community liaison, fundraiser and event manager. My expertise is organizing and planning. I enjoy seeing small pieces (details) come together to make a stunning big picture! The ability to empower those being lead is an important trait of a good leader. My definition of empowerment is to give those being lead (employees, volunteers etc...) the permission to utilize their gifts and talents in their current roles. When a leader allow for this type of autonomy the results can be phenomenal. Of course there must be clear goals and a defined scope of work so there's no over lapse. This type of leadership encourages a person to do their best, have a sense of fulfillment and to feel as though they have a stake in the overall purpose and goal of the organization. Along with empowering employees other qualities that I admire in a leader is competency and decisiveness. The leader that influenced me the most is an 82-year old founder of a local non-profit in which I worked for 4+ years. She influenced me both professionally and personally because of her commitment to her vision and her ability to inspire those around her to work and live to make a (positive) difference in the lives of others. She inspired the staff to find ways to utilize their talents in a way that would fit into the mission of the agency. She empowered her staff by creating a platform conducive for creativity. The greatest skill or take away I learned from her style of leadership was to lead in a way that inspire others to be their best.
Last Edit: 7 years, 12 months ago by Angela Martin.
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This website was created by NASCSP in the performance of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Number 90ET0431 and the Community Action Partnership in the performance of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Number 90ET0428.

Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US DHHS, ACF.