Kidz2leaders and Leadership Johns Creek on The Good Works Show

Mother Theresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

This week, The Good Works Show features two organizations creating those ripples. First, Atlanta’s kidz2leaders works with children of imprisoned parents, teaching them leadership and life skills, and hoping to break the cycle of incarceration. Then, Leadership Johns Creek offers development opportunities for Atlanta’s emerging leaders. Creating a pipeline of effective professionals, the program also provides avenues to give back to the community.

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In the show’s first segment, Executive Director Nancy Staub talks about the 17-year-old kidz2leaders program.

“Kidz2leaders exists to change the direction of the lives of children of inmates,” she says.

The 501c3 was founded by Diane Parrish, who encountered three generations of women from the same family, all in prison.

Leadership Johns Creek board member Todd Burkhalter joins the show in its last segment to talk about the program, and the impact it has on its participants and the community at large.

“We are a series of structured learning environments,” he says. “It’s a pretty unique thing that we design ourselves to create leadership talent and mature our current talent in our community.”

The program selects 25 individuals to go through a nine-month leadership training. They are broken up into groups to also work on a project to help the community in some way.

To learn more about these “ripple effect” organizations, catch the show Saturday at noon on News Radio 106.7 FM or listen at your leisure to the podcast.

Leadership Tip from Usher’s New Look Alumna Kamera Cobb

Usher’s New Look alumna Kamera Cobb learned a thing or two from going through the four-year program. One of the many leadership tips she picked up while participating with the nonprofit? Networking, and how you present yourself, is key.

Usher
Usher

She emphasizes this with the current students of the program, with whom she advises. “It’s all about eye contact, a firm handshake, and speaking clearly,” she tells them.

These tips are also critical when interviewing for a job. First impressions are key, and even the littlest component of the initial meeting can contribute to the overall success of the interview. Beyond eye contact and confidence Cobb suggests, here are a few more ways to make your mark.

  1. Don’t be late. But don’t be too early. The potential employer might have a very busy schedule, so don’t show up too ahead of your interview, making them scramble to be available.
  2. Dress appropriately. This will likely be the first time you have met the employer face-to-face. Make sure you wear something that fits well, is ironed and clean, and is professional.
  3. Practice your elevator speech. All interviews are different, but it’s usually a given that you’ll be asked to tell the interviewer a little bit about yourself, and why you are a good fit for the job. Be prepared with this answer.
  4. Treat everyone with respect. You aren’t just trying to impress the interviewer. Make sure to be kind and appreciative to everyone from the secretary to the CEO.
  5. Send a handwritten thank-you note. Emails and quick communications are the norm. Stand out by taking the time to write, and mail, an appreciation for the time of your interviewers.

For more job and leadership tips tune in to The Good Works Show on Saturdays at noon on News Radio 106.7 FM or catch the podcasts at https://soundcloud.com/thegoodworksshow.

Goodwill Spotlight: Local Leadership

Leadership-QuoteA leader can be made in many ways—on the field, in the office, or even in the community. Through hard work and dedication to their team they gain confidence and the respect of their peers. Leaders show grit and determination, and a passion for whatever the task at hand.

This Goodwill spotlight is all about these leaders—cultivating them, and giving them the opportunity to shine and succeed.

“BlazeSports America is the legacy nonprofit organization of the 1996 Paralympic Games that were held here in Atlanta,” says Cynthia Frisina, Executive Director of BlazeSports. “We are a nonprofit organization that serves children, teenagers, and veterans in adaptive and Paralympic sports. We also do international work in several different countries, as well as training and education nationally. We are the only organization nationally that is certified in adaptive sports and recreation training.”

From children to veterans, Frisina talks about how everyone can find a place in sports. “We believe that everyone can participate in sports,” she says. “We have seen how sports have changed people’s lives. It becomes the highlight of what they do.”

One example Frisina offers is the story of a wounded veteran who came back from war paralyzed from the waist down, depressed, with PTSD, and attempting multiple times to commit suicide. He is now participating in track and field with BlazeSports, and is on the road to making it to the Paralympics.

She also shares the story of an eleven-year-old athlete with a severe spinal cord injury. He participates in four different sports, and his family gotten involved with the organization. This year they were awarded “Volunteer Family of the Year.”


Another local organization championing leadership is Portara Consulting. “I’m a consultant psychologist, and I’ve been in this business for about 18 years,” says Karen Foster of Portara Consulting. “I’m really a single-practitioner, but I have others in my network. I consider myself to be a trusted leadership adviser.”

Foster offers her services to individuals and organizations around the topics of leadership and leadership development. She meets with the individual seeking leadership development, in an interview of sorts, and they both determine if the other is a good fit. “It’s the fit that really makes a difference,” she says.

Once hired, Foster starts with a 360 degree evaluation to gather data around the individual. She talks to the individual, but also their peers and coworkers. This feedback paints a fuller picture of the individual’s leadership style.

They then discuss an action plan and how to address the feedback. Most work lasts about a year, as the individual is constantly growing and developing in their leadership. The two meet at least once a month, sometimes twice a month, for 1.5 hours.

Foster encounters a lot of lopsided leaders, or those who are very analytical and less in tune with how they have an impact with people around them. She also works with reluctant leaders, or those with great technical skill, but who are a bit ambivalent about leadership and managing people.

“I try to adapt how I’m talking and my values based on the values of the individuals I am working with and the organization they are in,” she added.

To contact Foster, interested individuals can go to www.potaraconsulting.com or email at kfoster@portaraconsulting.com.