Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Learning From Leaders

Reflections by Lianne Shields, Corps Member on the Comcast Team serving at Browne Education Campus:

Corps Member Lianne Shields
A few weeks ago, I was asked by senior corps member Naomi to take part in a new segment at one of our Leadership Development Days. She introduced the concept of Learning from Leaders and I was so happy and honored to participate! Learning from Leaders is a chance for a corps member to partake in an in-person interview with a community leader to discover how that person developed professionally and personally. Throughout the rest of our service, a variety of Washingtonian leaders will participate in these events.

As the first interviewer, I was excited to interview City Year Washington DC’s very own Executive Director, Jeff Franco. As an Executive Director, Jeff is responsible for raising the $4.5 million dollar budget as well as overseeing service, training, events, and evaluation components of corps members’ service. Jeff is truly a champion for corps members. Not only does he listen to our experiences, he remembers them and challenges us to serve to our best ability.

I was given a list of questions but was also given the freedom to add, subtract, or re-word any questions that I personally had for Jeff. To be honest, when I was sitting up on a stage in front of my fellow teammates, corps members, and ultimately friends, I was nervous that what I thought was interesting about Jeff’s life wouldn’t be interesting to them. However, the interview went better than I ever could have hoped for. Jeff was so honest and insightful about the journey he has taken to get to what he calls the job he was meant for. Jeff was right when saying that there is something truly different about the non-profit world.

Personally, I feel working for a mission-based organization gives each person involved a sense of spirit (because you are a champion for the cause), discipline (because if you aren’t doing the work, who is?), purpose (the cause) and pride (knowing that you are serving to make a difference). Putting your boss in the hot seat can be a daunting task, but when it comes to Jeff Franco, it was a highlight of my service year

For more information on Jeff and other City Year Staff Members vist our Staff Spotlights Section.

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