Jean Ronnei 2015-10-01 22:30:03
Find Your Motivation and Pass It On! What drives you to keep up and adapt to the ever-changing challenges we face in this profession? What keeps you motivated? And do you pay that motivation forward? I believe that anyone can be a leader in motivating coworkers to do great work. Pride is a motivating force for SNA of Oklahoma President Sherry Pearson, who won one of this year’s President’s Award of Excellence. Although this award recognizes Sherry’s extraordinary leadership, she is quick to praise those who’ve inspired her. “The award wasn’t as much for me as it was for our state,” Sherry insists, amazed at how people from different backgrounds come together through a common bond. They are, as a whole, an amazing group of people. They give me the confidence and assurance to know that I can step out and do new things.” As director of Child Nutrition for Sand Springs (Okla.) School District, Sherry says she’s lucky to work with a team that is always eager to learn and help. Her job as an everyday leader is to guide them, giving them new responsibilities and encouraging them to grow. “I’m inspired by their passion, professionalism and caring for kids,” she says. For Debbi Beauvais, Northeast Regional Director on SNA’s Board of Directors and a member of its Executive Committee, motivation comes from her love of a good challenge and a desire to prove nay-sayers wrong. Debbi recalls an early boss, who pushed her in frustrating ways. But she harnessed the energy of her irritation into proving that she could meet every challenge he dished out. She credits this experience with molding her into the professional she is today. In a similar dynamic, a hiring superintendent expressed doubts that Debbi could make the transition from hospital foodservice to school nutrition. After 16 years as district supervisor of School Nutrition for not one, but three New York school systems (Gates Chili, East Rochester & East Irondequoit Schools), she’s laid doubts to rest. Debbi still challenges herself through her Association involvement. Attending leadership-building events, such as SNA’s Future Leaders Program, and meeting inspirational pioneers like SNA Past President Dr. Katie Wilson, SNS, has offered great motivation. And she values the relationships she’s built through her involvement. It makes “a huge organization like SNA feel small and friendly,” she notes. I enjoyed both of these stories—and hope you do, too. They remind me of a short Ted Talk video by Simon Sinek called “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe.” I encourage you to check it out at www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmyZMtPVodo.
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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