For our first spotlight of 2017, we introduce you to Lana Majid- current ELN Executive Committee Member and Senior Public Health Advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Keep reading to learn more about her leadership journey, her simple (yet vital) advice on community engagement and her three favourite things!
1. What motivated you to join the ELN and/or apply to the DiverseCity Fellows Program?
In 2014 I moved back to the GTA for work after completing my graduate studies in Kingston. I quickly realized that similar to when I was a student, I needed some form of “extra-curricular” activity to feel ‘whole’ and connected to a place and its people. I began feverishly googling opportunities to get involved with meaningful initiatives in the region. No surprise, CivicAction and the Emerging Leaders Network were the first hits I got back. I attended my first ELN event and was instantly hooked on the positive energy, brilliant ideas, and commitment to city-building felt in the room. It was THEN that I finally felt rooted back in the region.
2.How has your involvement shaped your leadership journey?
Joining the ELN Executive Committee has given me the opportunity to connect, partner, brainstorm, and plan with leaders from a variety of sectors who I do not normally work with on the day-to-day. This exposure has helped to mature the lens which I analyze problems through and the perspectives which I offer in both my work and daily life.
3.What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess and why?
Leaders should possess an inherent ability to empower and energize others. Something pretty magical happens when leaders treat everyone (regardless of job title) as equal, ask questions rather than provide answers, and give staff ownership over their work. No surprise, this leads to major team-chemistry and ultimately happier and more productive organizations.
4.What is one thing you do to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Continue to pursue opportunities that make me nervous! Whether it is taking on a new project at work or applying for a cool extra-curricular opportunity… I push myself to oscillate a few blocks north of my comfort-zone in order to develop. Sometimes the opportunities work out, and often they don’t…but I learn, grow, and improve from them!
5.What advice would you give someone who wants to get more engaged in their city or community?
Talk to people! You never know who is in the room until you begin asking questions and developing relationships. The ELN membership has a wealth of experience, skills, projects, and passions to share. Never hesitate to approach people at events and look for ways to get involved in areas of collective interest.
6.If you could have dinner with anyone, living or deceased, who would you choose and why?
Anthony Bourdain would be a fascinating dinner date! He gets paid to do three of my favourite things: travel, try new foods, and hear people’s stories.
While it would be a guaranteed delicious meal, the profound stories he could share are even more appealing. Exposure to new environments and people allows for invaluable personal/professional development. I would love hear Anthony reflect on how the people he met abroad have had an impact on his own journey. Plus, pick up a few travel and dining tips of course!