When you think about leading a team of individuals that are responsible for supporting and teaching individuals that have been diagnosed with a developmental disability, you realize it is such an amazing position to hold. It is a position that allows you to walk alongside individuals with many strengths. It is a position that requires a great wealth of self awareness, flexibility, and interdependency. While being the Director of the Mountain Home office, I have truly found it to be a rewarding position to hold. Many may look at me as the go to person or even the person that has all the answers, but honestly I must say it takes a village to make this office run. I am a true believer that no matter what role one plays we all have the potential to learn so much each day by coming together and working as a flourishing team; that is the key word of it all TEAM. During this journey it has truly been a great asset to know what a team is and how important it is to be a transparent team. It is also important for one to understand that a great team is one that is made up of a variety of individuals with various backgrounds. I have discovered the one thing that all individuals of this team have in common is that they are each here for the main purpose of uplifting others so that they can have the opportunity to reach their full potential in this life.
When I think back over the years and focus on how the team here has changed, I must say the dynamics that have truly helped the team to improve year by year is the amount of support and presence that each member has placed within the team. When we hear the word change many of us may experience what may seem as something in your body tightening up. However, I now see change differently through my eyes and the eyes of the team here. It has been a great experience to see how the individuals in this office respond to change now. Change is inevitable and change offers a great opportunity to make one stronger. In the past years when change was presented, it has be discovered that the go to responses that have worked for this team were team building events and appreciation tokens.
When I look at how a strong team is developed, I always remember two statements that were shared with me when I started this journey “it takes a good leader to build a strong team” and “leaders are not trained they are developed”. Overall, no matter the obstacles I have encountered, my leadership style has enabled me to continue focusing on building and maintaining a strong team. It is essential for me to ensure open communication, be available to the team, maintain a safe environment, and be an involved leader and key player of the group.
So now ask yourself what type of leader are you and what type of team do you want?