In this her final blog for CompassPoint as a staff member, Senior Project Director Marissa Tirona shares her leadership learnings from her seven-year tenure. We wish Marissa all the best in her new role as Director of Blue Shield Against Violence and, while we sadly say farewell to her, we move forward assured and thankful that our paths will continue to cross and intertwine in our work for greater social justice.
A core aspect of my practice at CompassPoint is the design and delivery of our cohort leadership development programming. I love this work – it taps into my strengths of relationship building; design thinking; network weaving; content synthesis, translation, and application; and catalyzing systems for social change. I also have loved the way I get to do this work—in deep partnership with CompassPoint colleagues and external facilitators, as we prototype experiments, test new ideas, and play with innovative and emerging frameworks and tools. And I love the result of this work: social change leaders who have increased confidence, are willing to take risks, see their strengths, push change, create communities of practice, and are eager to seek new models for collective learning and growth with deeper, more systemic impact.
It didn’t occur to me until I began to approach the end of my tenure at CompassPoint that my experience here has been a very long (seven years!) leadership development program. And now, as I pivot towards a new journey starting in January 2015 as the Director of Blue Shield Against Violence, I am looking to the past seven years and bringing forward with me learnings that will, hopefully, stead me well in my new role. I share some learnings (the list below is by no means exhaustive, of course) with you now in the hopes that they may be useful to you in your own development as a leader.