Steps on Store Street, Victoria

Steps on Store Street, Victoria

Last night I went to a networking event put on by Volunteer Victoria’s Emerging Leaders Network and this morning I’m filled yet again with admiration for the people that work in and around the nonprofit sector in Victoria. We’ve got us some great people here working for some pretty amazing causes, and I’m happy to know them and be part of their tribe.

The Emerging Leaders Network was visioned and created – yes, by yours truly and a small team of those great folks – about three years ago for individuals in the nonprofit sector who wished to grow in their careers towards leadership and network with other like-minded people. From the little spark of an idea borrowed from another volunteer centre in another city and made into our own, the Emerging Leaders Network has grown into a group of over 200 people either working or volunteering (in leadership positions) in the nonprofit sector.

And believe me, you want to know the people in this group. And maybe you even want to be one.

Although I haven’t coordinated the ELN for eight months (I turned over the reins when I left Volunteer Victoria), I’m still very much a member and supporter. These people make up part of “my Victoria”. They are smart, good-hearted, collegial people who make attending a networking event interesting, relaxed and a very good time. They approach relationship-building with a ‘how can I share what I know, help you and get to know you’ attitude. They are real and authentic people, already leading Victoria’s nonprofits in so many ways.

If you don’t live in Victoria I hope you have a group such as this that you can turn to if you’re searching for your nonprofit tribe. If you don’t, why don’t you create one?  As Margaret Wheatley says in Turning to One Another:

To advocate human conversation as the means to restore hope to the future is as simple as I can get. But I’ve seen that there is no more powerful way to initiate significant change than to convene a conversation. When a community of people discovers that they share a concern, change begins. There is no power equal to a community discovering what it cares about.

In 2012 I learned the word “convener” was being used for people who call people together, and I learned to call myself one. Are you one too? Do you know one? If so, consider leaving a comment to tell us about your experience coming together with the people that you know.

I’m also happy to announce the upcoming Fundamentals of Event and Conference Management course that I will be facilitating for Camosun College starting January 26. This course is a “go” and registration is still open.  This year I’m thrilled to announce that Heidi Barlow-Lee of HBL Events will be co-facilitating this 24-hour course with me. We’re going to make a great team! We have some super guest speakers planned and will also be taking some time to go on a site visit to an event venue.