Reflections & Musings

Oh look I still have a blog…it is beyond time for an update and I have a few things to say. FYI I’m making no guarantees about the cohesiveness of this post.

Something Funny

Connected & laughed during the conference

The YNPN National Leaders Conference was this weekend in Phoenix (photos included). As you may or may not know I have served on the YNPN Phoenix board since last July, and we had the pleasure of hosting the conference this year. I had quite a few Ah-Has during the conference, and I felt the need to write about them. Conferences/training like this always give me ideas to ponder and I’m constantly writing notes off to the side to explore later. Part of this post serves as that exploration. The Ah-Has related to work/career, personality, YNPN, and specifically the YNPN Phoenix board.


Deep in thought during elevator pitch session

-In general, I’m a just the facts person – this isn’t news to me, but it was reinforced during the create an elevator pitch session. Crafting elevator pitches requires knowing your audience and whether they want the story or the facts. I want the facts and apparently that puts me slightly in the minority – also not a big surprise, but something that popped in my head during the session.
-I value YNPN enough to devote my entire weekend to it – more on that later.
-I also thought it was interesting that the people in communication roles, especially social media, with various YNPN chapters have similar personalities. Personally, I think the role attracts the quieter behind the scenes people, who might express themselves better in writing and with some premeditation. It is part of what I like about my current role in YNPN Phoenix.

Amanda Tweets

Spent a lot of time tweeting & monitoring social media

-One of my simmering frustrations at Catholic Charities boiled over at some point in Day 1 of the conference. The frustration revolves around how much hierarchy permeates the organization (big surprise right? An organization with Catholic values has hierarchy). It is especially frustrating when you are at the bottom of the hierarchy and just want to be heard or contribute something meaningful. Don’t take this the wrong way – most of the time I like my job – what job doesn’t have frustrations, but the conference gave me time to ponder and realize the frustration.
-Related to the first point, I know it will be important in the future to find an organization that values leadership from anywhere. Our keynote speaker, Paul Schmitz – CEO of Public Allies, advocates for this idea and I concluded it is one of my values. In the meantime, I’ll be channeling my energy to lead through YNPN Phoenix.
-Part of the challenges I’ve discussed also come from being in a large organization. In smaller orgs, it is a lot easier to be heard, make changes, and sometimes you get to do something outside your normal role. Catholic Charities can be very rigid about roles and the chain of command.
-During the conference reflection time, I definitely visualized myself in a leadership role and people looking to me as an authority. I better start becoming an authority, lol.

-Our nationwide network is full of superstars. I was legitimately impressed with the sessions by various YNPN leaders and the expertise they brought to this conference.
-The conference also confirmed that the YNPN-Twin Cities chapter is full of superstars. They are hosting next year’s conference and I know they’ll do a wonderful job. Check out their blog:

I don't look thoroughly impressed

I don’t look thoroughly impressed

YNPN Phoenix Board
-With the exception of a few notable superstars (you know who you are), our board is lame. I’m sorry if the truth hurts, but it was embarrassing to be outnumbered by other chapters and frustrating that people don’t value their role on the board enough to make time for the conference. Yes a few people had legitimate excuses for not being there, but it was still frustrating. Okay, I’ve said my piece.
At the same time, I do believe there is hope and we have the potential to implement some of the great ideas from the conference. It is time for the board to rethink and recommit to the organization.

In other news, I am trying to be more active and lose weight. Even though, I absolutely detest talking about this type of thing saying it loud (or writing in this case) makes me be more accountable to myself. I’ve never been good at sticking to this type of commitment, but it is beyond time to try. We’ll see…

I think that’s enough for today. Bye for now!

Photo credit: