NYCTLF Session 1: Introductions & Leadership

The New York Cultural Trust Leadership Fellows - 1st Session

In the spring of this year I applied for a fellowship. I did not achieve it. My supervisor - the Museum’s Executive Director - followed up to understand why. This fall, I reapplied. And today was my first session as one of the New York Community Trust’s Leadership Fellows. It was an encouraging, enlightening, inspiring, and overwhelming day.

Two aspects impacted me most:

  1. The nurturing environment of the session. We were challenged, certainly; today with a particular focus on the qualities a good leader ought to imbue. Yet the overall atmosphere was of sharing and safety - sharing honest experiences, safe in the knowledge that everyone there was there to learn, to improve. Remarkable.

  2. The astonishing breadth of participants’ non-profit work and personal experience. Everyone there was different, coming from distinct fields and experiences, and at the same time united by a strong desire to be ever-better at accomplishing work that was important to them. Frankly, I was in awe (and conversely: struggled with a little impostor syndrome).

I’ve so much to process, I haven’t much of substance to report; in spite of 8 pages of vital note-taking. One thing I learned is that the fellowship will be huge, hard work. I’m looking forward to it, confident that I’ll come out of it equipped as I’ve never been before to advance good work. The first real task, it seems, will be to track down and entice a good mentor.

I’ve craved mentors for as long as I can remember, usually adopting them covertly, just in my own perception. It may be pretty refreshing to have a proper one, but it will also take some serious research, not to mention trial-and-error.

This is the beginning of a surprising, rewarding adventure. And I begin it with deep gratitude.