At PRA we are given the opportunity each year to take a “day of reflection.” During this day, we take time to reflect on our lives, with an emphasis on career planning and goal setting. People use the Day of Reflection for lots of different activities (check out the Day of Reflection tag on the PRA blog); just last year I went to Mass MoCA to think about presenting information in a visually pleasing manner as I took on my new role as PRA’s Communications Specialist.
My Day of Reflection was especially special this year, as I participated in my last Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) conference. I’ve been volunteering with the organization for the last 11 years (and wrote about my experiences in a previous blog) and the 2016 seminar was my “farewell” tour, which made the experience even more special than it normally is. At this seminar, I was able to reflect on the changes I’ve helped bring to the organization, the development of the volunteers I’ve managed, and the program content overall.
This last year really drove home the fact that leadership and trust is built outside of grand speeches and big actions, but in the ways in which we work together: providing active, ongoing communication on the status of a project; delegating tasks and empowering those delegates to own those tasks; providing feedback on what is working well and what isn’t working well; and delivering on promises made. All of these things were swirling around my head as I reflected on my years of service to this organization and many of them apply to my professional life at PRA. The seminar weekend was a great chance to reflect and think about how I can be a better team player across all of the projects that I work on and how to cultivate my own personal style of leadership. I’m so grateful for PRA to give me the opportunity to have a Day of Reflection and so grateful to HOBY for truly helping me grow as a person and a leader these past 11 years.