Becoming Your Best: The Leadership Development Council Provides Opportunities for Success

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This year, the Junior League of Tulsa (JLT) introduced the Leadership Development Council (LDC), which is charged with creating an effective core of volunteers who can continue service even after their JLT careers. For its inaugural year, the council has one committee: the Training and Education Committee.

Together, the council and committee have been reviewing and analyzing the short- and long-term training needs of JLT members. Training ranges from basic skills to leadership development. Eventually, the committee plans to have different levels of training (for example, an advanced course focusing on donor development).

LDC Vice President Whitney Matthews emphasizes that the council and committee are working on what an integrated training program will look like and how it fits with the League’s strategic plan and community engagement. For example, she envisions as people leave the League, they then will be involved in the leadership of JLT’s community partners.

Training and Education Committee co-chairs Lauren Pierce and Jessica Engelbrecht see their roles as making each JLT volunteer “the best woman she can be” to help serve the community. “Junior League is a volunteer and training organization,” Pierce states. “We provide training, so JLT members can service their community more effectively.” Her goal is to associate the JLT mission (to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women, and improve the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers) with each training opportunity.

In the future, LDC and the Training and Education Committee want to grow the council, creating new committees that can train women in varied ways, whether that’s a committee focused on mentorship, one that’s focused on serving on a board, or ones that highlight other specialized skills.

This year, all JLT members are required to have one hour of training. The committee offers training opportunities scheduled at a variety of times and locations in order to accommodate all active League members. Training topics include networking, effective communication, conflict management, and how to make an “ask” for donations.

Each member of the Training and Education Committee is charged with planning and organizing various formal and informal training opportunities, reaching out and leveraging their personal networks for ideas and to secure speakers. They also are implementing suggestions from the November speak-outs. Any JLT member who has a training idea may send her proposal to the committee at