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Our Family’s Leadership Journey

by Gretchen (Cohort 6) and Kristin Davidson (Cohort 11)

Leadership can take many different forms. It has the capability to transform people, instill appreciation, or direct the masses through a crisis. I believe that all people have the right to lead, however, I’m not sure that all people have the desire or capacity to maintain leadership.

For my mom Gretchen and I, leadership is a role we continuously learn from each other. We take turns leading in our family, whether it is supporting one another in career decisions, or planning the menu for a big holiday dinner.

Certain situations inherently bring out leadership skills and qualities. Sometimes these characteristics are raw and un-nurtured, and other times they are developed and applied in great deliberation.  

Growing up, I was taught differing leadership skills from both my parents. Each had unique perspectives on how to approach leadership, but the lessons I learned, and the experiences I encountered in junction with my formal learning has molded me into the leader that I am today.

I have always seen my mom as a leader. Her strength and commitment to continue her learning journey, paired with her advocacy for children, and passion to make change, has only been fueled by the Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program.

I witnessed firsthand her excitement over reading The Art of Possibility. I watched as she worked to apply her learning and ruminate about how much she feels she ruminates. More than anything, I saw how helpful the program was in her ability to take on new demands and continue to work toward making changes, which is what led me to apply for the program.

When we are faced with challenges or have moments of uncertainty, we often comment to each other about where we are in the “U”, referencing Theory U, a foundational component of the BECLP. We spend time reflecting on our learning and leadership over the years, and how impactful this program has been. We both appreciate the knowledge we have gained and look forward to applying it for years to come.

Our experiences were different, yet our commitment to be a part of the change that occurs is something we will continue to share with every member of every cohort.

Our heartfelt thanks to the instructors and staff of BECLP and to the trustees of the Buell Foundation for nurturing us to be better leaders and challenging us to be bold!

Submitted by Kristin Davidson, Cohort 11, with regards to my mom’s Cohort 6 (with a little sprinkle from 7)!