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3 Big Lessons of Leadership

Posted by jennicadavishockett // July 29th 2016 // Events and Opportunities, Featured Youth, GA, UUA, youth // no comments

Apply to Serve as Youth Caucus Co-Dean and See What You Learn !

by Eric Broner, Co-Dean, Youth Caucus 2016-2017

General Session V Youth vote on AIW re: solidarity with Muslims Photo © 2016 Nancy Pierce/UUA

General Session V Youth vote on Action of Immediate Witness: Build Solidarity with our Muslim Neighbors. Photo © 2016 Nancy Pierce/UUA

My week in Columbus at General Assembly was full of many things- questions, answers, memories, regrets, and above all, lessons learned. Not only was Columbus my first General Assembly as a Youth Caucus dean, but it was also my first General Assembly – an experience that has had a huge impact on my life. I think I learned a few things about myself, especially as a leader:

1. Accountability is the number one aspect of leadership.

Accountability is equivalent to reliability. Others’ ability to trust in my work, in my leadership helps me get things done. Conversely, I need to be able to accept responsibility for my actions when I mess up and work to fix the problems. There were a few times during the course of the week that I missed something I was supposed to be at, and the repercussions of this reinforced my knowledge that accountability as a leader is vital.

General Session I Co-deans of the Youth Caucus for this General Assembly. Eric Broner, from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta and Andrea Briscoe from Main Line Unitarian Church in Devon, PA Photo © 2016 Nancy Pierce/UUA

General Session I: Co-deans of the Youth Caucus 2016  Eric Broner, from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta and Andrea Briscoe from Main Line Unitarian Church in Devon, PA, address GA. Photo © 2016 Nancy Pierce/UUA


2. I’ve got to fight through the frustration.

It’s easy to give up when the going gets tough but I realized that I’m a much more powerful leader when I refuse to allow my immediate frustrations with anything in my environment to limit me. Early in the week at GA, I became very disenchanted with my faith and how the Association carries out its business. I felt very strongly that some of the decisions made by the delegate body were marks of reversion and not progress; to me, the adoption of the “Corruption of our Democracy” Congregational Study Action Issue, instead of the proposed “National Conversation on Race” CSAI represented a refusal to tackle a more immediate and pressing issue. I learned, however, that I have to allow my frustrations to be fuel for my internal flame.

Closing Photo © 2016 Nancy Pierce/UUA

General Assembly 2016 Closing Ceremony. Photo © 2016 Nancy Pierce/UUA

3. I can make real change.

At the end of General Assembly, we were able to pass a Responsive Resolution that I helped to author along with Yashi Janamanchi, Ali Butler-Cordova, Eli Breidford, Hannah Rigdon, and Isabelle McCurdy. This Reaffirmation of Commitment to Racial Justice sets up future work for the Youth Caucus and the Association. Because I truly believe in the importance of racial justice work, it became the most important action I took during the course of GA. Change is a very rewarding thing to be a part of; it’s special to see the results of your work, and that your efforts aren’t arbitrary.

General Session V Responsive Resolution Photo © 2016 Nancy Pierce/UUA

General Session V Responsive Resolution sponsored by Youth Caucus 2016. Photo © 2016 Nancy Pierce/UUA

I learned much more about myself, both as a leader and as a person, as a result of my Junior Dean position than I ever could have expected. It’s been an incredible experience that I would not trade for anything. If you see yourself as a youth leader, if you believe in change and in progress, I urge you to take a moment and consider applying to be Junior Dean of the Youth Caucus. The impact the position can have on others and yourself is unexpected and unique. The deadline to apply is August 10th, 2016.

If I ever might have been dissuaded from applying for the position, it would have been because I felt like it would have been too much to take on, and truthfully, it is a lot to move into; that being said I can guarantee that after a year as Junior dean you will feel like you aren’t doing enough, and will be motivated and able to do more than you ever imagined that you could.

Apply to serve as 2017 Junior Dean (PDF) for General Assembly in New Orleans, LA. Then continue as Senior Dean for GA in Kansas City, MO.

Applications open now through August 10th. All expenses, including travel, meals, housing and registration at all meetings, including GA 2017 and GA 2018, are paid for by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Applicants must be high school students (grades 9-12 or the equivalent for home-schooled youth) for both years of their term, i.e.: for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years.

Questions can be submitted to youthcaucus@uua.org.

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