Encore Louisville – Serving… learning

Janet Sims

Janet Sims (EL ’15), HR executive

“One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.”
– Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes

I was anxious to reconnect with my classmates in the inaugural Encore Louisville class and learn about their non-profit partnerships when we gathered for program day three at the beautiful new offices of program sponsor ARGI Financial Group off Old Henry Road (ARGI makes its beautiful conference facilities available to non-profits as one of the many ways they provide service in our community.) Most of the class had now participated on two project teams and I was eager to compare notes.

This session, Encore Louisville teams provided strategic consulting to seven deserving non-profits agencies; Americana Community Center, CASA, Day Spring, Family Scholar House, Hope Scarves, Louisville Grows, Paws with Purpose, and Family Scholar House.   It was inspiring to hear about the difference each of the agencies is making in our community and how the deep experience and varied skills of my classmates helped each agency move forward. Without exception, my classmates and I have been humbled by the tireless dedication of the leaders, staff, boards and volunteers of the agencies we’ve had the good fortune to have as partners. The ongoing and overwhelming need for resources and support for non-profits across our community is clear and a call to action for many in the class.

Aaron Miller, director of programs for the Leadership Louisville Center, presented the feedback from the survey Leadership Louisville did after the first round of projects. It was good to learn the consensus of the non-profits was positive regarding their Encore team’s contribution.

We had the special opportunity to hone our consulting skills by participating in an Adaptive Leadership Case Study. This method, from the Harvard Kennedy School for Executive Education and shared by Cynthia Knapek, president of the Leadership Louisville Center, offered some specific steps to follow in our consulting engagements with non-profits to ensure clarity on the project scope and to quickly and efficiently discover major players, conflicting perspectives, prior actions, real stakes and hidden risks.

The day ended with the final marketplace for this Encore Louisville class. A new round of non-profits presented their projects and my classmates and I were able to self-select the last project for this session. As I headed out at the day’s end, I was filled with gratitude for the opportunity to partner with yet another team of smart and talented Encore Louisville participants to make a real difference for the people in our community. Thanks Leadership Louisville.


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