Dear YD colleagues,
Last month, Youth Development educators, program coordinators, county and regional support staff, and regional directors across the state gathered to participate in a series of Youth Development regional meetings. One of the main goals was to provide an important opportunity to share our Youth Development principles, vision and mission with county and regional support staff, who are important members of our teams and play a critical role in our success.
I was recently reflecting on those meetings, and wanted to share some observations about what I saw.
I was elated to see that regional teams were embracing and taking ownership of the goal to create their own unique regional approach. More importantly, I saw the teams developing processes to define their strategies and action plans based on their region's needs, and their team members' unique skills, abilities, talents and knowledge. Our regional educators working with their teams to define and shape their work are great examples of "participatory leadership."
According to Torbert & Rooke's definition in the Seven Transformations of Leadership, "The participatory leadership paradigm is based on respect and engagement. It constructively focuses energy in every human to human encounter. A more advanced, more democratic and more effective model of leadership, it harnesses diversity, builds community, and creates shared responsibility for action. It deepens individual and collective learning yielding real development and growth."
Wow, can you imagine the possibilities of our impact if we were to harness the collective energy and wisdom I saw at the regional meetings?
I want to congratulate all of you on embracing our new model, contributing your unique skills, talents and abilities, and the progress you are making toward realizing our vision for building a robust regional system together. I thank you for leading the way.
Associate dean & state 4-H director
Reference: Torbert & Rooke, Seven Transformations of Leadership, 2005 Harvard Business Review