Learning to Lead: Sharing My Leadership United Experience

United Way of Central Indiana’s Leadership United program has existed for more than 30 years to develop leaders, involve them in community problem-solving and equip them to be change-agents for our most important community priorities. Now, as much as ever, we need to continue our work in building capacity in this way for community-based organizations in Central Indiana.
Meet Jessica Parks MBA, CCHW – a Leadership United graduate. Our team asked Jessica to share a bit about her experience and how the program has helped shape her career and beyond.
What was the most valuable part of your Leadership United experience?
I really enjoyed the monthly sessions we had as a group. This was an opportunity to meet other people who had some of the same interests as you, as well as some who had different interests. I felt during every session I learned something new about multiple people. In addition, I really enjoyed the topics we discussed. They were extremely insightful. Even though I work in a space where I am very familiar with the work of many of the non-profits who were introduced during Leadership United, I was still able to takeaway multiple things at every session. I also really enjoyed the board basics session. An organization approached me to discuss joining their board and the first thing I looked for was the sheet that stated the questions to ask before joining a board. This experience was very beneficial and I would recommend it 10/10!
What did you want to gain from your experience with Leadership United when you signed up?
When I signed up, someone had suggested that I complete this program. I was unaware of what it was but after a little research I thought it would be a great opportunity. With me working in outreach and with non-profit organizations, I thought this would be good to at least learn more about other non-profits. I gained so much more than that! I gained knowledge on the non-profits, how to be an effective board member, met new people that loved things that I loved, and now have an unforgettable experience I can share with others.
How have you, or do you plan to, use the information and knowledge you have received through Leadership United?
At the moment, I do not currently sit on the board of any organizations but the information I learned in Leadership United is universal. The things we discussed can be used in any setting. Some of the things that were stated about being a board member were to be active, effective, timely, and philanthropic. These are all things you can be even when you are not a board member. In addition to that, when you become a board member it will be one less thing you have to try to learn while trying to become familiar with the governance or dynamics of the new board you are on.
Leadership United, United Way of Central Indiana’s community leadership and board member development program, is now accepting applications for a new class of corporate and community leaders who are looking to develop their skills as nonprofit board members. CLICK TO NOMINATE SOMEONE or APPLY TODAY!