As the oldest of six, I'm used to being in charge. As an attorney you're trained to critically think, analyze, decide and then do it all over again. Being in charge for me is part nurture and part nature.
When I joined Meeting Street more than 15 years ago, I was drawn to the entrepreneurial opportunity to run an organization with a well-earned legacy of learning and compassion. I saw a path for Meeting Street to serve even more children with and without special needs. Meeting Street has allowed me to flex both my nature and my nurture.
It took me years, however, to learn that being in charge is quite different from leading. Many can make a decision. Inspiring people to share your vision and then successfully executing is entirely different. Command and control works for a while. However, you will eventually lose good people. If you're the only one who gets to dream and make decisions, how then do others gain experience and grow?
A truly effective leader builds a team of leaders and a culture of leadership. Constructing a team at Meeting Street that shares one vision has been years of big and small moves – some worked and some didn't. I learned from each one. It always goes back to knowing me, my strengths and my weaknesses, and being able to reflect and make changes. The more I've done this, the better I've performed and, not surprisingly, the stronger our team and Meeting Street have become. •