By Dana Strongin, 2013 Water Leaders graduate and Denver Water employee
The thesaurus entry for “leadership” describes a person who is a guide – a pilot or conductor.
Based on that depiction, it might seem that the water-related equivalent would be a captain, but after completing the Colorado Foundation for Water Education’s 2013 Water Leaders program, I contend that a true leader can be anybody on the crew.
After all, it takes many dedicated leaders to run an effective ship – a fact that also stands true in the world of Colorado water.
That’s one reason Water Leaders was so worthwhile. My classmates hailed from diverse organizations, interests and supervisory ranks, yet they all exemplified leadership in some way.
Throughout the year, we openly explored and discussed the challenges, successes and goals we encountered in our work and home lives.
To truly gain from these discussions, we also had to get to know ourselves. I was surprised at how deep this inward journey went. I honestly wasn’t fully prepared for that level of introspection, but I’m happy with the results.
This process was one of the catalysts that spurred me to pursue – and choose to take on – a new career opportunity, even though I very much enjoyed the job I already had. This big change came out of discovering what work environments and professional challenges would foster my development as a leader.
Water Leaders participants don’t have to completely know and understand themselves ahead of time to benefit from the experience. The program’s content and networking opportunities will facilitate that learning process and show participants what they can take from it. Alternatively, folks who already have a solid understanding of their approaches to work and personal life will develop the tools necessary to plan their next steps.
If you’re interested in applying, you should. Join the crew that will not only steer the ship of Colorado’s water future, but also work together to steer it in a positive direction.
The Colorado Foundation for Water Education’s Water Leaders program is now accepting applicants for the 2014 cohort. Visit our website to learn more about Water Leaders and apply by January 17th to participate.