The Leadership Institute over Labor Day weekend could not have been more inspirational, informative, transformative, and jam-packed. We had fantastic guest speakers who talked about leadership and partnership, as well as NCDs, extremely helpful lessons from our National Office about how we are going to improve GlobeMed in this next year and the years to come, and we had small groups in which we discussed those topics with our peers. Ed Cardoza from Still Harbor talked to us about what it means to be in a partnership, the job of leadership, and the importance of followership. He talked about how we need to deepen our partnerships, and that we are each parts of a whole, we both need each other. He showed us a TED Talks video about leadership and dance from Derek Sivers (Meghan Kennedy and I are now obsessed!) about how important the first followers are to a movement. Peter Luckow (a GlobeMed alum) from Tiyatien Health talked to us about the difference between partnership and solidarity, and while we are at the level of partnership we should strive to be in solidarity with our partners. He also told us that a strong organization first tells people WHY they are doing what they’re doing, then HOW they are going to do it, and then WHAT they are doing to get there. There was a big emphasis on the WHY of things this weekend – WHY we are in GlobeMed, WHY we care about this movement. Mark Arnoldy (another GlobeMed alum) from Nyaya Health shared with us the myths of being a manager and how that is a challenge we as leaders should approach with excitement, that being students does not mean we are resource poor, and the most helpful thing I took from him was that we should treat our GlobeMed staff as if we were a basketball team and we want to pick the all-stars for it, we need to pick the best players of interdisciplinary skills for our team (this was a great analogy that I think UCLA should definitely think about putting into practice because we have a great WHY and so we should use great people with different skills to achieve the HOW and the WHAT). Our last guest speaker was Donna Barry from PIH to talk to us about the importance of addressing non-communicable diseases because they are a huge cause of deaths in areas where our partners are in the world.
Throughout the weekend, I would turn to Meghan with ideas that would pop into my head (whether they were on the current topic or not). Maya Cohen (Executive Director), Bianca Nguyen (Director of Development), and Alyssa Smaldino (one of the Program Directors) from the National Office Staff showed us so many helpful things that I cannot wait for our chapter as well as the entire network to implement. We need to recruit an interdisciplinary staff and utilize our members’ unique skills and interests to the fullest so that we can do so much more on our campus and achieve so much more for our partner. We learned about the importance of empowering the staff, and that giving everyone key roles will ensure their commitment and dedication to our movement. They also talked about how building strong relationships between staff members and e-board is important – they ALL know that UCLA has got the “let’s get along” covered – they love our immense amount of energy and can’t imagine it fitting into one room! Through the few times Meghan and I had a chance to discuss things, a new internal structure for our chapter was created (go Meghan!). We also learned that we have a great relationship with our partner in comparison to a lot of chapters (we got so lucky with Stephen!), but of course there are always ways to improve and the biggest thing is that we really need to think BIGGER when it comes to campaigns because we should be raising more money for the Amuru Youth Center and our projects with them. The importance of social media was another big lesson; we are going to increase the usage of Facebook, Twitter, and blogging throughout the entire network so that we can be more connected and so that we can achieve more publicity and awareness through these popular sites.
So basically – UCLA is about to step their game up like you won’t believe! Get ready for a completely new internal structure, way more involvement from our members, increasing our chapter’s knowledge about our partner and the network, and just an overall increase in LEGIT-ness! I personally gained an entirely new understanding of what GlobeMed is – don’t think of this as a club on campus, we are a student-led non-profit organization that has an entirely new approach to helping others through partnership and sustainability. I was personally benefitted by what I took away from the LI, my commitment to this movement has grown and my desire to pursue the non-profit sphere was reassured (there are good people in the world, and they are members of GlobeMed). And UCLA will definitely be benefited by the amazing things that we learned at the LI. And I can’t wait to see everything come together so we can achieve these amazing things together.
–Leah Paz, Director of Community Building