Talk about meeting expectations! The LFC Retreat was much more than just a chance to meet our classmates, it was a time for beginnings. This time together introduced a unique opportunity to be absolutely “in the moment,” with technology turned off and listening with an open mind. Our exciting journey towards becoming “Transformational Leaders” started with Rick Weldon leading the Class of 2017 on the path of discovery. By brainstorming the characteristics of successful leaders, we got our first glimpse of how the combination of passion, vision, courage, ethical behavior and tenacity can combine to create vibrant communities. “Community mapping” then provided an interesting visual tool, showing how the public and private sectors of Frederick work together to enrich our lives. And, we were on our way.
Inspiration came from local leaders like Patrick Pexton talking about the role of the media and how leadership comes in many forms, Helen Propheter and Richard Griffin sharing thoughts about economic development and Brad Young explaining the education challenge. On Friday, we heard from Jim Gugel, who explained the planning process and shared his thoughts about growth in our County. Jason Henline summed it up perfectly when he said, that he’d “already learned so much” and this was only the beginning.
On Friday morning, we really got down to business, forming our Leaders on Loan teams and organizing ourselves for the challenge of helping local non-profits better serve the community. No doubt this will be a very exciting opportunity to stretch ourselves…learning new skills and applying established skill-sets in new ways.
But, it wasn’t all work, there was lots of time for fun as we got to know each other, planting the seeds of truly meaningful relationships. Team-building at the Frederick Indoor Sports Center provided a great opportunity to stretch ourselves. Alan and his team did an excellent job creating activities that emphasized the varied ways people work together to solve problems (with and without verbal communication). So much fun and on such a hot and steamy day it was wonderful to play in comfort.
To me, the most significant take-away from this new beginning was the message shared in the Story of the Butterfly Effect…Andy Andrews’s powerful story of how we can positively or negatively impact those around us, even for generations, because everything we do matters.
Spending our days at the beautifully renovated Residence Inn and the evening at The Courtyard, hospitality was always front and center. Meals were generous and delicious, providing downtime to get to know each other in new ways. Thanks to Matt Doyle, Danny Vasquez and the whole Plamondon Hospitality Partners team for all their efforts.
Last, but in no way least, on behalf of “the absolutely best class ever,” thanks so much to Rick, Barbara, Jenny, Mary Ellen and the whole LOL team, and Elizabeth for their leadership, sense of fun, and inspiration. This was an amazing two days and it was just the beginning.
LFC Class of 2017 - Opening Retreat
Photo Credit: Angel White