Saturday, June 17, 2006
Learning to be Me
Last night was a blast. I had the best time. I couldn't believe I could have so much fun, so far out of my element. What was I doing? Attending a board retreat. That's right, a board retreat. I was elected to a local foundation board on June 1st and we went to a fancy hotel in town to haggle out our strategic planning for the upcoming year. I sat there, my second official gathering with about 20 other professional souls thinking, what am I doing here? How the hell did I get on this board? I'm surrounded by doctors, lawyers, and bankers, (me, the former welfare mother!) talking about how to disburse approximately 6 million dollars a year to impact the health of the medically indigent in our community. To my credit, I may be the only one on that board who's ever BEEN medically indigent- so I know what I have to bring to the table. It was still a little intimidating though. Until- we broke down into smaller groups to examine our mission, vision, and guiding principles. My group contained the board chairman, a handsome smart professional attorney who owns a string of nursing homes, currently running for political office. Our first job was to select a leader and a scribe. I was selected as leader. I then had to guide my group into discussion and was asked what's the difference between a vision and a mission. One of the other ladies in my group and I explained it, then we were off. I disagreed with the board chairman on practically EVERYTHING. Our group began to have this rousing animated discussion full of laughter and creativity. I was up at the easel writing our notes on the pad, waving my arms, in my bare feet, making my case, conceding points where I couldn't, and generally having a great time. I couldn't believe how quickly I came out of my shell. In the end, our group did not get all the way through the assignment, but what we did get done was noteworthy. (The facilitator said so, and cited several examples from our group.) What a lesson in being myself.