What is it like to participate in the Leadership Calgary program? In this post, Natalie Muyres, a Leadership Calgary alumna from the class of 2008, shares her experiences and the impact of participating in the program on her work in the community.
Name: Natalie Muyres
Program Year: 2008
Current Occupation: Business Owner/Consultant, Culture, Project and Organizational Change Management
What are your current volunteer engagements?
I have been involved with Leadership Calgary since 2008 as a program committee member and as co-chair since January 2010. I also support many organizations and alumni in a variety of ways. There are a lot of great people doing a lot of great things!
What is something you’ve accomplished in the past year that you’re really proud of?
It’s the same each year, I continue to develop my understanding of the Human Venture Framework and work to apply it in my life, including the work I do as a business consultant. Working with the framework continues to challenge my own learning. I am proud that I know less about some things and seek more, and on most days I’m okay with that :-).
My clients often ask, ‘why and how do I think the way I do?’ It is a great entry point to have more meaningful conversations. It is easy to forget that what we do at work, how we treat each other and how we construct our thinking, translates into our personal lives. These explorations not only have an influence on the work but in other areas of people’s lives.
Is there a particular quote that continues to inspire you?
“You are not about life, life is about you”. Ken Low said this at the opening retreat I attended in 2007. It has never left me. At the time I was seeking others who wanted to explore life and I didn’t know what I was up for, but at that moment I thought, “I found my people!”. This quote continues to connect me to the greater of humanity and helps to put life into perspective at times.
When you hear the term ‘Community Leadership’, what are the first 3 words that come to mind?
Inquiry, collaboration and persistence
What is your favorite memory about the LC program?
Maybe not a memory, but the most meaningful part of the program for me is that I continue to learn, even from areas that I never thought to inquire or examine before. As well, the relationships that I developed with my fellow classmates and class participants since have created wonderful opportunities for learning. Some of these are friendships that run deep; ones you know will be there along the journey. I am grateful for these connections and how they continue to shape my understanding of our community and world.
What was the greatest change in your life (professional, personal or both) after completing the program?
Leadership Calgary developed a stronger sense of inquiry that I attempt to apply to all aspects of my life. Working in business, especially organizational culture and project/change management, I understand the structures, social constructs, beliefs, process and policies that an organization develops is a result of things beyond the borders of the actual business. This has made work more meaningful and hopefully the depth of my understanding more valuable to clients. Personally, a broader and deeper level of inquiry has created a richer engagement with life while evaluating and developing my own capacities.
How would you describe Leadership Calgary to someone who has not yet participated?
We take so much about leadership and life for granted. We rarely ask ‘why’ or ‘how’ and sadly, this is what we are passing on to generations to come. Leadership Calgarywill challenge participants to rethink the way they have constructed their understanding about life, how these beliefs and understandings came to be and hopefully encourage them to reconstruct them in an adaptive way. As a good friend of mine says, ‘Leadership Calgary isn’t about Leadership or Calgary’. To me Leadership Calgary is a personal evaluation of how you choose to engage with life and the choices and tools you have to change the course of your own learning. It is true that the program can be life altering, if you are willing to take stock of your own life and examine what it actually means to be alive and human.
Are you looking for a learning experience like this? We are searching for the class of 2013! Apply for Leadership Calgary before May 17.