Member Blog, EFAM 2014 Leadership Bootcamp

James Edgar's picture

My first order of business at EFAM was attending the Leadership Bootcamp. I had heard rave reviews about this session from last year’s EFAM attendees. This one definitely lived up to expectations, and then some.

What I took away from the session was “self-empowerment.” Susan Leahy said, “You don’t have to wait for permission from anyone to be a leader.” We also discussed our “stories” and the things that seem to define us, such as being shy, not believing in our ability to do this or that, or—in Susan’s case—having never eaten fruit for the first 38 years of her life. She ate a strawberry to give us the example of not being defined by your story. “What if you are more than your story?” she asked. We tend to get put in a box, and we allow others to put us in those boxes.

We also defined our “stretch” – something we would do that was out of our comfort zones. Being one who is introverted and wanting just to hang around the people I already know, I defined my stretch as meeting someone new in every class I would attend at EFAM. We paired up with someone we did not know previously to be a “stretch buddy” that would hold you accountable for your stretch goal.

For a fun illustration, we blew up balloons that represented the possibilities that would come from our increased leadership ability. We batted them around a bit, then a few people popped their balloons. This represented the people that dismiss these possibilities or point out all the reasons why they won’t work.

This was a fantastic session. I feel empowered already!