Give Yourself a Voice

By Dustin Fowkes


When I was asked to share my perspective about what Leadership Medina County (LMC) has meant to me and my emerging leadership journey the answer was simple, everything. 


I recently finished the book “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. In that book Simon states that “Leading is not the same as being the leader.” Prior to participating in the emerging leaders program I had been a leader. I had served as an officer of organizations and clubs and yes a company bowling league. (I’m especially proud of that one). It wasn’t, however, until completing the Emerging Leaders (EL) program and getting involved with LMC that I actually learned how to lead.


That education began within the EL program where above all else I was taught awareness. Awareness of oneself, of others, of strengths and weaknesses, of reality and perception, of community and the needs surrounding us. I was then given the opportunity to give that awareness a voice and action through interactions with my peers, opportunities to identify community needs and to give back, and the ability to learn from the leaders who had come before me.


Education was only the beginning though. The EL program and LMC as a whole has also provided me with a powerful network of peers and mentors. It’s a common bond that anyone from any of the LMC programs has and almost three years since graduation continues to grow in quality and quantity. I’ve made many friends, connected with potential clients, identified job opportunities, and solicited the advice of willing and selfless mentors all from the LMC alumni network. 


Most importantly, LMC has provided me an abundance of opportunities to remain involved, apply those lessons and to continue to learn and grow personally and professionally in the form of board opportunities, committees, and advocate for future participants. Not only that, but LMC continues to learn and grow and develop as well. The EL program of today is much different than the one of 2015 I participated in because of LMC’s willingness to adapt and change in an effort to provide the best possible experience for its members.


As you can tell I’m a proud member of the LMC family and would welcome the opportunity to discuss the program with any one of you. 

Dustin Fowkes is a 2015 Emerging Leaders Graduate and serves on the LMC Board of Trustees. He is a Benefits Analyst with DS Benefits Group.
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