Earlier this year, our CEO encouraged me to apply to be a part of the Leadership Twin Cities program through the Minneapolis Regional Chamber and I was accepted! This was a fantastic experience for me to grow as a leader of our own organization and to be immersed into the issues that are facing our city. There were so many great peer discussions, speakers and tours that we participated in throughout year, but a few of these were stood out from the rest.
Below are the top 5 highlights of my year as part of Leadership Twin Cities:
1. Lumina Splash
Remember taking the Myers Briggs test at school? Jane Schuette, MA, introduced our group to Lumina Splash. It’s another form of a personality test that is much quicker and more visual. After participating in this exercise with our group, I took this back to our office and we were able to do the same exercise with each other. It is such a unique way to visualize personalities and how they work best (or worse) with each other.
2. Mill City Museum
My mind was blown by the history behind the Mill City Museum and the underlying (and often times not so) racial barriers in the formation of our communities. Aside from learning about the explosive history of this museum, we also had the opportunity to learn more about the division in our city early on and how, unfortunately, not as much progress has been made as we would hope. History has a very scary way of repeating itself.
3. Ride along
One of the greatest parts of this whole experience was forcing me to get out of my comfort zone. For me, this was the ride along. I reached out to a friend’s husband, a police officer at the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department, and he was more than willing to bring me along for a ride. Granted, it was a Saturday afternoon in suburbia, but I learned more in those 4 hours than I ever thought I would. From being a part of a DWI arrest and booking, to a simple speeding ticket, I am grateful that we have our officers protecting us all day and all night.
4. Finnovation Lab
For our final meeting, we were able to get a sneak peek at the latest working space in Minneapolis. The Finnovation Lab is an incubator space for local social businesses in the new Finnegans Brewery. This space was the product of a visionary in the craft brewery space, Jacqui Berglund, and much blood, sweat and tears. Her story is remarkable, and this space is going to be a great asset to this community.
5. Talent shortage
We were placed in groups at the first meeting, and then given the task of a group project. Our groups were formed based on our interests and the group I was placed in was tasked with economic development. After much discussion and during our visit to the Metropolitan Airports Commission, we learned about the shortage of talent in the pipeline for nearly all industries. Manufacturing has an especially hard time because there has been so much pressure for young people to go to college and get 4-year degrees. Unfortunately, we are losing our blue-collar workers by doing that which forces companies to outsource to other countries. This is a nation-wide problem that hits our community as well. What can we do to help? Try reaching out to local high schools and being a mentor to someone who might be a great fit to your industry.
If you are interested in learning more about the opportunity to apply to be a member of a future class, check out the Minneapolis Chamber website. The past 9 months really opened my eyes to wanting to be more involved in our community—now, to figure out the best place to start! School board? Volunteer? There are so many options!