As part of our second year of grow, the SLC Alumni Association wants to know how each one of you are leading in your field. With that in mind, here is what 2012 Alumni Grace Dafoe had to say:
“When I thought of a leader growing up, I thought I never matched up with the qualities of what I saw in a ‘good’ leader. The people I looked up to were generally charismatic, outgoing and incredibly decisive. None of those things seemed to match up with how I felt, further proving my point as to why I didn’t feel like a leader
Generally, I felt like I fly under the radar, put my head down and do the work when asked and when it is needed. I’m not a quick decision maker, I need time to analyze each choice and make the best decision. So how could I, Grace Dafoe, even be remotely close to a good leader?!
If there is one thing I have learned in the last few years, it is that leaders come in many different packages, and that is simply because different leaders have different strengths and weaknesses. We only need to learn to work together and accept these different strategies and approaches to leadership.
1. In what capacity/role are you currently in a position of leadership?
Within my sport community, I recently was nominated and elected as an athlete representation for Alberta Skeleton Provincial athletes on the board of directors. I see this as an opportunity to make a difference and be a voice for athletes today and in the future. This allows me to bring issues from the athletes to the board of directors and help provide impact for decisions to ensure they do not negatively impact the athletes.
Within my school community, I am a part of the first graduating class from Mount Royal University to have a degree in Health and Physical Education, with a major in Physical Literacy. As a senior student, we are leaders of this newly created bachelors degree program, and challenged to go out and be a leader in our other communities.
2. In what ways are you building and growing yourself as a leader?
I never want to stop learning and growing. Perhaps this is why I find I make a great leader. I’m not stuck in my ways, I want to continue to grow and become better as time goes on. Yes, of course I have many weaknesses, but these are why I am who I am. I never want to say I’ll grow to have no weaknesses; I just want to be the best person I can be in all aspects of my life and never stop learning, wherever that direction is as time goes on.
3. In what ways do you see yourself leading within the next 5 years? How are you going to get there?
I see myself becoming a leader in the physical literacy community in the next few years. First step to accomplishing this is graduating with my undergraduate degree in June 2016.
I’m trying not to think too much about the future at the present moment, as I’m open to what it may hold for me. This is one of the benefits of being a student athlete, is that I will have career and sport choices to make in the next few years that will help guide me. As an athlete, I want to use that to my advantage to partner with causes I am passionate about, along with being a role model to people all over the world for living a healthy lifestyle and living your dreams, but I also want to be so much more than an athlete. I also want to have a career, have an enriching personal life, travel and try new things!
I know that whatever comes my way will be due to my hard work ethic, willingness to learn, open mindedness, and loving each step of the journey, wherever it might take me.
My biggest piece of advice is to remain open to whatever may come your way in your journey and remember to smile and enjoy the little things along the way.
While it may not be conventional, this is how I choose to lead.”