What does leadership development look like for you in this program?
“I have taken multiple leadership courses in hopes of becoming an
entrepreneur. I knew most of the technical framework about being a leader, such as how to delegate responsibility, run numbers and how to be an example for others. However, I did not know what being a good leader looked like outside the business world before coming to Merry Lea.
“From my experiences in the sustainability program and time spent at Merry Lea, my understanding of leadership has evolved, and I’ve realized that it is a constant learning experience. Living in a community shows what leadership looks like, as I’ve learned that leaders need to consider outcomes for the whole of a group. Everyone has a chance to lead and show their strengths.
“The positive outcomes from respecting one another shows that power isn’t always the best choice for good leadership. For example, in our community cooking experiences, we will have individuals with a recipe in mind, but we all work on individual parts of a meal and we trust one another to complete our own tasks. Some people might have more skill in certain areas and will naturally gravitate to portions they feel comfortable leading. As a result, we make something great from the “leader” putting trust in all of us to lead our personal tasks.
“Also, through classes, readings and field trips, we have been learning about the importance of indigenous knowledge from indigenous voices and individuals passionate about sharing indigenous history. From these introductions, I am remembering to be thankful for the origins of all things, to respect what the world has to offer, and acknowledge all the behind the scenes work that individuals do to conserve our world.
“I have been introduced to so many practices and careers that will shape the way in which I approach leadership roles in the future. I just hope to lead with not only economic prosperity in mind, but social, and environmental strength and longevity as well. Being immersed in a program like the SLS creates a more holistic leader: the type of leader we need more of.”
– Hannah Guthrie ’23, Goshen College sustainability studies major