Growing our Future Leaders through Empowerment U

Our 2018 Empowerment U class learning about leadership & problem solving from Jeff Shinabarger, Founder & Executive Director of Plywood People.

“There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.” – John Maxwell

This philosophy continues to be at the heart of Empowerment U. Last year, Brown Bag formalized our commitment to our future leaders with a one-year leadership program that focuses on individual and group development. Designed to grow both hard and soft skills, EU also focuses on the importance of community involvement.

Now in its second year, we’re proud to introduce the current class: Nicole Baird, Rhea Doty, Cassidy German & Mary Graddy. Here’s what they had to say about their interest in the program and the impact Empowerment U has had so far:

“I wanted to learn the skills that would help me be a better project manager, employee and co-worker. For me, joining EU was really about growth. I’ve loved the opportunities to learn from other leaders – both inside and outside the organization. It’s been invaluable to get feedback and help figuring out my strengths and weaknesses. Spending time with my EU class has been an honor – we are four women with different personalities and career backgrounds, and I love the chance to learn from them while forming a support system.”

“My goal in applying to the program was to deepen my understanding of leadership in and outside of the professional realm and to turn it into a personal lifestyle. The program has pushed me to intentionally have one-on-one engagement with people outside of my typical business circle. It has opened my mind to the importance of building relationships of all kinds. I want to build a leadership lifestyle centered around empathy and integrity that permeates all aspects of my decision making, and I believe EU is helping me set that foundation.”

“I wanted to be a part of EU to continue my growth as a leader and to hone in on how my strengths can impact the business. I’m loving the conversations and interactions with the current leaders at Brown Bag, especially my mentor. She has been helpful in expanding my perception of how my position as the Manager of People & Culture can help our best asset (our people) grow. I’ve been challenged by working with an executive coach where we’ve dug deep to discover our core values to build our personal branding statement.”

“One of the things I’ve enjoyed most this year is the opportunity to learn more about the many different areas of our company and how we all work together as a whole. Additionally, I’ve gained greater insight into what I value in myself both professionally and personally, and how my skills can mold my leadership style. I hope my experience can help me to continue to grow within the company and allow me to empower my teammates to develop their leadership approaches as well.”

Stay tuned for updates regarding our four budding leaders and the Empowerment U Program! What is the best piece of leadership advice you’ve been given?