Leadership Gwinnett Staying the Course

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered uncertainty and complications in our community that you no-doubt have been wrestling with over recent weeks. We know it has been hard. This medical crisis is unprecedented. But know that despite these stormy and uncharted waters, Leadership Gwinnett is here to champion leadership. Now, more than ever, we need a thriving community sustained by an inclusive network of empowered leaders. This is Leadership Gwinnett.

As I write this message, our world has undergone rapid change in how we live, work, and play – all in the span of a few weeks. When I wrap my head around these changes, I begin to wonder which will endure and how they will impact our civic life and our general human connection.

Closer to home, Leadership Gwinnett has transformed in rapid fire. On March 20, the staff team transitioned to a full-time remote operation. We reimagined, rescheduled and recalibrated to keep the momentum moving forward.

Overnight, we became virtual conveners and ZOOM experts. Our task at hand was to take care of the current class of 2020 with their interrupted class year, keep our alumni base connected and stay the course with our investors and volunteers.

The Class of 2020 made history by virtually meeting in April for their last learning day. Building Community Leaders Day was fully planned. In ten days, that outstanding committee reconfigured the day into a three-hour, interactive Zoom session. The focus was leadership in crisis, engagement and encouragement. Class members had time to talk about their personal and professional lives amid COVID. That conversation was sorely needed. In the end, many class members commented they did not know how they would survive this crisis without the support of their classmates. They lifted each other up. It was magic.

Their graduation retreat on May 8-9 has been rescheduled for mid-July at this point.

With no alumni events in sight, we did what we do best-connected leaders with leaders. A virtual series, Leaders on the Front Line, was created to feature alumni leading the way in county health, business, tourism, justice, hospital care and county leadership. Over 500 LG alumni and Glance grads have tuned in to learn and ask questions on issues related to our community and this pandemic.

Thank you to the LG Board of Directors, Steering Committee, BCL committee, retreat committee and the many colleagues who have called for their wisdom and guidance. Special thanks to Brooke Waters (LG20), Program Manager and Logan Serrano, Marketing & Communications Manager for their unwavering team support.

As for me, I have learned a few leadership gems of my own. Distance breeds clarity. Going digital is imperative. Continued optimism provides comfort. And, when you consistently pour into your team – they give it back to you tenfold in a crisis.

Please stay safe and take good care of your families and friends.

Lisa Zaken (LG05)
Executive Director
Leadership Gwinnett

How Can You Help?

    This current class is having a very different experience than previous classes. While they are engaged and resilient, they are still in limbo and need some love. LG alums – please email me a short message of support and solidarity and I will share on their Facebook page.

    If you or someone you know has done something “good” (e.g. a food drive, sewn masks, helped neighbors, started a new initiative, etc.) we want to hear about it! Let’s honor the folks behind these deeds and spread some good by recognizing them for their contributions to our community. Click here to honor a leader!

    Follow our social media channels and join in as we salute leadership in action each day.