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  • Jena Skinner, AICP

It always goes back to leadership...

Today I had a good conversation between a client and the team engineer about roles, land use and humans- yes, humans. We are all humans. It's strange that in land use, sometimes people forget. I make it point to remind the world we exist.


On my way to the meeting today with a jurisdiction I hadn't worked with before, I decided to continue listening to my latest audiobook, "Dare to Lead" by Brene Brown on my 35 minute drive there. I love Brene's fierceness and her experience and learnings. I also love listening to her as a reminder of who I want to be; who I strive to be. BTW- Great thing to do before a meeting. For instance, her reminders of leaving space in a conversation. Be patient and allow others to speak. Use the time to create meaningful and thoughtful responses- all good to do in a meeting with people you need something from. It also reminded me of my last job working for a firm and how almost everything they did came from the exact opposite position of her teachings. A place where my boss (not a leader) came from fear and "armored leadership." (check out page 16/17 in this document that goes with the book). And while I STILL value the learning I had there, it's a shame that I had to learn what not to do in that experience.


As I may have mentioned in a previous post, I was working at a firm that truly wasn't for me. Today I figured out the real reason: It was the lack of value I gave myself and what I did. That I suffered through PTSD to work there. That I am still hurt that they chose to be that way, and diminish my human-ness. Had I been a robot, I would have flourished. but shucks, it just wasn't so. True human, this lady.


Getting back to self-value...This paradigm has been in the back of mind as of late, ever since we added a new team member to another project I was working on. She told me she was pretty much unhireable- not because she wasn't great at what she did; rather, but because she was leery about who she would want to work for. She knew her worth, and it wasn't money worth (although I am sure she knew that, too). It was that she knew herself well, and she wanted to use her time and skills to be her best in an environment of her choosing. I thought that was amazing, damnit. The best part? She is both work-strong and full of heart. I only hope that the women I am learning from affect me so deeply that I do the same.


Although I am always willing to walk away from a job (since "The Firm"), I think it's time to manifest some new clients and work that value me as much as I do. Where I get to use my brains and my empathy and compassion- with healthy boundaries, and flourish- or not. From now on it'll be my choice, as I am a worthy human.


#itsnevertoolatetobebrave

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