As the chief architect for the Arts & Science Council’s capacity building, professional, and leadership development offerings, I spend a lot of time thinking about the skills and expertise our next generation of arts and cultural leaders will need to be successful, particularly in an environment where change and complexity are the rule, not the exception.
As emerging leaders, we participate in leadership development seminars, attend conferences, enroll in graduate degree programs…you name it…in pursuit of formal training to enhance our professional growth and marketability.
Sometimes, however, we can find just as much value in learning from our peers and listening to those who have paved a path ahead of our own. Hearing authentic, often humbling, human experiences truly resonate and teach us that as much as we try to shepherd our career paths in thoughtful, logical, and strategic ways, sometimes reality (or insanity) takes hold.
When that happens, having a strong informal support network can be the difference between rising to the challenge or allowing the craziness to overwhelm us.
To reinforce the importance of this approach, last spring, ASC’s Emerging Leader’s program hosted a special panel discussion for emerging women leaders in Charlotte’s cultural community.
“For Women by Women: No Really…Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us at 25” was an empowering event led by executive leaders from several major cultural institutions. Each woman shared success stories and stories of failure, and most importantly gave encouraging advice on how each of us—male or female, at whatever career stage—can think big and get out of our own way. Read the rest of this entry »