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A group of 35 classmates from all different parts of the community – the publisher of Enjoy magazine, City of Redding employees, people in the health-care arena, employees of Northern Valley Catholic Social Service, just to name a few, along with myself (a Realtor) – gathered this weekend at Trinity Alps Resort for a workshop and the beginning of our year-long Leadership Redding program.
For those not familiar with Leadership Redding, it is an awareness and educational opportunity that serves as a catalyst for individuals who seek participation in community decision-making. It starts with the weekend retreat and then continues with monthly sessions on different aspects of the community. It ends in May with our “graduation” from the program.
Though the 35 of us were virtually strangers – and all very different – there was a common thread that brought us together: the desire to make a difference in our community. For some it may be small and in the background, others may be seen in years to come in the spotlight, but all of us shared a goal of making our community a better place.
If our classes throughout the year are the cake that is to come, this weekend retreat was the icing. The weekend was about bringing the class of 2009 together. It was about connecting, trusting and learning from one another.
I’m sure many of you have visions of us circling the campfire singing “Kum Ba Yah” and falling back into each other’s arms as they catch us. Hmm, you may be correct but we have a saying, “What happens in Trinity, stays in Trinity.” So though the stories would be fun to share, instead I would like to share with you some of the ideas, inspirations and insight that will stay with me always as a result of our time together:
• You don’t have to be the leader to be a leader.
• Working together as a group often accomplishes more than working as individuals.
• The quiet people in the back executing the plan are as significant in the process as the loud ones up front.
• Slow and methodical will often get you quicker results than charging full-speed ahead without a plan.
• We are all connected. When one person struggles or one person succeeds, there are many that are affected.
• If you have an idea, don’t stop until you feel you’ve been heard.
• Sometimes other people’s ideas may be better than yours. Know when it is time to step back and let them take control.
Sure, these are all things we probably knew before the retreat, but sometimes we need to be reminded and to see it put to the test.
The weekend was transforming for me. I found this to be an amazing group of 35 people with amazing ideas, amazing compassion and amazing passion. I am humbled and honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and to be able to say I am part of this group. I look forward to our year together and can’t wait to see what impact those in our group may have on our community. I promise to keep you posted.
And finally, there were many quotes that were shared over the weekend. Some I knew, some were new to me and all were inspirational. I’d like to end with one that was still ringing in my head as I pulled away from the resort:
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Ghandi
Lara Wells Osborn is a Redding native. After traveling and working around the world she has returned to Redding with her husband and three children. She is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Westside. She can be reached on her cell at 530-276-3026 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org