Levelling Up with the Hispanic Leadership Institute
“Shared leadership … is less like an orchestra, where the conductor is always in charge, and more like a jazz band, where leadership is passed around … depending on what the music demands at the moment and who feels most moved by the spirit to express the music.” – P. Schlechty
This quote will sit in front of me every Tuesday as my cohort peers and I are encouraged to “Lead Thoughtfully.” I was recently accepted into Valle del Sol’s Hispanic Leadership Institute, a program that promotes the individual development of Hispanics for increased participation in leadership roles.
The program started this month and I’m excited, anxious, curious, and determined to dig deeper into the discussion concepts each week. For a total of 15 weeks, our group of 16 will meet weekly to engage Arizona’s foremost business, education, and government policy experts in a dialogue about leadership and their role in creating a thriving economy.
When I saw Valle del Sol’s post about this program a couple months ago, I knew I had to apply. While it is in my nature to find ways to expand my personal growth and improve my skills, I was also inspired by my RDF Familia.
In my daily work, I share stories of my co-workers who are constantly levelling up their knowledge and their network. Together, we attend webinars, workshops and luncheons to learn as much as we can about the needs of our community. It’s an infectious energy that comes from the top.
Our RDF leadership: Tom Espinoza (RDF’s President & CEO), Melissa McDonald (RDF’s Chief Operating Officer) and the rest of the Executive team lead by lifting us up. They exude a motivating energy encouraging us to become the best servant leaders and professionals possible. In doing so, we can collectively make a greater impact on our communities.
For me, HLI is about leveling up and strengthening my leadership skills so that I can make a bigger difference. It’s one of a few goals on my list.
I am incredibly grateful to my supervisor Monica Ballesteros (RDF’s Communications Director) and Elvira Espinoza (RDF’s Chief Communications Officer) for cheering me on as I applied and was accepted into the program.
The HLI Community
I got in! I smiled and did a little happy dance ready for the adventure. As expected, I was proud and excited, but I didn’t expect the overwhelming congratulations I received from my colleagues and friends. I received texts and phone calls from HLI alum (colleagues who I didn’t know had participated in the program), welcoming me into the HLI family.
Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and warm welcome! It’s a blessed feeling to have the support of such a strong community.
We are four sessions in and I’m here to get everything I can out of the program. I’m proud to sit with an incredible group of leaders and excited to see the impact we’ll make in the years to come.
I look forward to sharing another post after the program is over.
Valle del Sol is currently accepting applications for the HLI Arizona, HLI Tucson and HLI Pinal cohorts. Learn more about the program.