“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Did you ever play the childhood counting game “rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief?” If that game had any validity, it would have been an easy way to discover our strengths along with our weaknesses. Because it’s not that simple, parents tend to encourage their children to participate in various activities to help them discover their strengths or talents.
It was no different for me. I took ballet and violin as a child. The thought of doing too much in front of an audience frightened me because I was a shy child, so I didn’t excel as a ballerina or as a violinist. I really didn’t discover my strengths until adulthood. I stepped out of my comfort zone and became involved in organizations and activities. I started to help at church, and then in our children’s classrooms. Next thing I knew I became the President of the Women’s Club and the Ligonier Valley, PA Parent-Teacher Organization. I discovered that I enjoyed serving in leadership positions that involved administrative duties, public speaking, and building relationships. I never would have known that without accepting and trying new positions and activities. Along the way I also discovered things I wasn’t good at. All strengths, talents, abilities, and gifts require a discovery point. I think the expression “natural born leader” is far from true. No one is born a leader. We discover our leadership tendencies and grow them.
The discovery process is the same in the National Garden Clubs’ (NGC) leadership positions. My journey started with agreeing to attend and join a garden club almost 28 years ago, when I moved to Oak Hill, WV. A year or two later I found myself serving as my garden club president, never dreaming that would lead to me to serve as a District Director, then the West Virginia Garden Club President, and now the NGC First Vice President.
All that is required to become an effective leader within NGC, or a garden club, is:
I encourage you to step out and consider taking a leadership position. You might serve in a club, district, or state position. You might discover strengths and abilities you did not realize you even had.
If you have already discovered your strengths and have served in a position, consider applying for a position on a NGC committee for the 2023-2025 administration. There is a fillable form on the NGC website, under Forms Library. Look for the Board of Directors Application at the very end.
National Garden Clubs, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization that aims to promote the love of gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility. There is a local club near you, click here to find one and join. Subscribe to the NGC’s blog by entering your e-mail here. You do not have to be an NGC member to subscribe. NGC welcomes blog article submissions, e-mail the Blog Administrator at email@example.com.
So true, Brenda!
So true. Taking the first step to public speaking is the hardest thing but it quickly gets so much easier. You do a great job Brenda, so prepared and calm.
We follow in the footsteps of great garden club leaders. A lot of us stand back because we know we won’t be as perfect. We know we will make mistakes. I’m glad that you ask us to be willing to make those mistakes and then to learn from them.
What an inspiring story - thank you so much, Brenda.
The link to an NGC application: https://gardenclub.org/sites/default/files/2022-02/2023-board-of-directors-application.pdf
Always enjoy enlightening.