Leadership Grand Traverse – What’s it All About?

Last night, I graduated from Leadership Grand Traverse. Eighteen community leaders, including myself, were chosen by the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce to participate in the fall semester of this program. Our class was an incredibly diverse group, with a variety of ages, professions, and leadership styles represented. We spent eight weeks together developing ourselves as leaders, as well as learning about and engaging in the Grand Traverse community.

We began with a two-day opening retreat at Crystal Mountain Resort, during which we completed a variety of team building activities and discovered which leadership style each of us demonstrates, what that means and how to use that information to become a more effective leader. I found out that I am a “commanding” leader, which means that I am extremely independent, competitive, and results driven.

We spent the next six weeks in a variety of day sessions, exploring various components of our community. First, we learned about the importance of arts and culture at Interlochen Center for the Arts. We dove into state & local government, local economy, education, and natural resources at subsequent sessions. We also spent a session learning about the various nonprofit organizations in the area and the community needs that they each serve.

Throughout the sessions, we spent a lot of time in group discussion about the interconnectedness of these aspects and the importance of each in the Grand Traverse community. We also focused greatly on how and why we need to be engaged in each of these areas as leaders and members of the community.

We had our closing retreat and graduation at Hotel Indigo. We spent time reflecting on our entire experience and tying everything together before family, friends, and Leadership Grand Traverse alumni joined us for a graduation ceremony and celebration.

I would highly recommend Leadership Grand Traverse to ANYONE. We are all leaders in some form, whether it be professionally or in our personal lives, and the amount of self discovery and personal growth that occurred throughout this program was remarkable. I also learned so much about the community that I live, work, and play in, and look forward to sharing that information with others.

Congratulations to my fellow classmates and thank you to the Chamber and all of our amazing facilitators!

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