Eye-opening and empowering: IMPACT San Diego


IMPACT Stories

I recently participated in the IMPACT San Diego program offered by LEAD San Diego. It was a phenomenal opportunity to learn about the major issues affecting our region, and to meet and network with top business, civic, government, military and nonprofit organization leaders.

The information presented during IMPACT is not just eye-opening: it’s empowering. It, along with the stories that were told throughout the program, made me realize there is still more work to be done to make San Diego a great place in which to live, work and play for everyone. That said, the things we were able to see and hear firsthand also highlighted that although San Diego is a very diverse place, leaders are still working together to make our region even better.

Collaboration is Critical

Throughout the IMPACT San Diego program, we heard about the cooperation happening every day across our region, and it was inspiring. We heard from PATH San Diego, which works with dozens of organizations and agencies to provide housing plus mental health and wellness services for the homeless. We heard from the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, which includes 27 different organizations working together to promote art, culture and science. And we heard from law enforcement officials, who continually work with other agencies and departments to help keep us safe.

Our “class” members collaborated with each other through our Leadership Action Team projects, where we worked with nonprofit organizations to develop plans to help them strategically reach their goals. In other words, we got to take what we learned and put it into action. For me, the time we spent as a team working toward a common goal was the most impactful part of the program. I listened, learned and led, along with individuals representing some of San Diego’s largest and most impactful organizations. I got to take great ideas and put them on paper so they could be actionable for our nonprofit organization. And I developed close friendships with the nine other individuals on my team, who all had very different skills and backgrounds.

Learning to LEAD

While there’s no simple formula for leadership, and no two situations are exactly alike, good leadership begins with good vision. It takes a willingness to listen, collaborate and take chances. It takes both passion and action. IMPACT San Diego showed me firsthand proof that good leadership exists in our region. America’s Finest City is big but operates like a small town, thanks to a close-knit group of visionaries and a culture that encourages collaboration. The more that continues to happen – and as more people decide to take active leadership roles – the better off we’ll be for years to come. I encourage you to look for opportunities to get involved with groups like LEAD San Diego to see where you can make a positive difference.

Greg Kershaw – Senior Account Executive, Nuffer, Smith, Tucker – IMPACT Class of 2014