by Lori Riddle Eberenz, Ignite Louisville Class of 2012 –
Since graduation from the Ignite Louisville program, I have enjoyed time to reflect on my experience and recognize how much I learned about myself, leadership and working with others.
One of the items that really stuck with me was something we learned at Brown-Forman during our day focused on “The Brand Called You.” The particular line was a book title, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. It was part of a discussion about how the skills that got you to the job you have today are important, but you’ll need more to take the next step in your career. The concept was one that I am surprised to admit I had not considered completely. Hard work, enthusiasm and a strong skillset got me where I am today. However, the corporate world is filled with executives who have worked hard to earn their positions in management. The competition is fiercer because they too are intelligent, skilled and charismatic. The author, executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, writes about how “subtle nuances make all the difference.”
I am grateful to the Ignite Louisville program for helping me to see this challenge early, so that I can begin to seek opportunities and develop the skills I will need to “get me there.” I was reminded of how important it is be forward-thinking and prepare for the needs of the future, not just take care of the day-to-day.
During Ignite Louisville, I also worked diligently with my team on behalf of Dress for Success Louisville and the newly formed Lou Lou’s Closet, which we hope will provide financial support to Dress for Success for many years to come. It has been very rewarding to attend the second board meeting for Lou Lou’s Closet and watch and the members and volunteers use the tools we provided to get their idea off the ground.
Though I learned many things from my Ignite Louisville experience that I use in my leadership roles each day, the connections that I made with my teammates and my other class members are what I will treasure most. Connecting with so many talented professionals has been educational, rewarding and tons of fun! Regardless of what project we took on or the end result, it amazes me that we faced so many common challenges along our paths and hopefully helped make our city a little better along the way.