This blog is fifth in a series from alumni about their experience in Scottsdale Leadership. Anne Driscoll is a graduate of Class XXIII and the DC Ranch Community Council PR Manager. Scottsdale Leadership is currently recruiting participants for Class 26. Visit scottsdaleleadership.org for details.
Name and Class: Anne Driscoll, Class XXIII
Current place of employment, title: DC Ranch Community Council, PR Manager
Community Involvement (Boards, Organizations, etc.): City of Scottsdale Neighborhood Enhancement Commissioner
What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how did you learn it? Empathy is key. When you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you live by the Golden Rule. Seeing a situation from another’s perspective is the first step in living outside oneself. This is important for two reasons. First, you know how you’d like to be treated—with kindness and respect—and so you, among other things, provide more solid guidance and direction. Second, being a part of something bigger than yourself helps you to understand that you can have a lasting impact, and can enact meaningful, positive change. I learned this from observing individuals who I consider to be good leaders, and thinking about the qualities that elevate them.
What do you consider the keys to effective leadership? A willingness to listen; the ability to see the Big Picture; a love of asking questions (both the hard ones that people are afraid to ask, and the ones that seem easy but the answers need to be articulated); being interested; being accessible; and a desire to connect.
What advice can you give to future Scottsdale Leadership classes? Be “present” for every class day, not just physically but mentally, emotionally, spiritually. You will encounter people and ideas that will have a deep impact, for the better, on how you proceed in both your career and personal life, so be open to learning from each part of the Class: your classmates, your presenters, your Day Chairs. Challenge yourself to “lose yourself” in the experience, completely engage and connect (put your smart phone down!). Take advantage of every opportunity that being in the Class offers, even ones that might make you feel uncomfortable. When you look back on this experience, it will be one you treasure. You will want to do it again and again, so “be here now” and tune in to where and how you can be effective. Your community is calling you!