Gloria Witt, Class of 2019
Founder & CEO, Define Success Coaching & Facilitation Services
Madison Heights, VA
What is new and exciting with you now or since your time with Lead Virginia?
I’m continuing to build social capital. I’m enjoying saying yes to opportunities that are new and different yet, align with my passion to partner with organizations to achieve measurable results in the areas of executive coaching, leadership development and facilitation solutions. Since my time with Lead Virginia, I’ve had two new opportunities: Coach and facilitate “Executive Presence” content as well as becoming certified to coach and facilitate a program called, “Advancing Women in Leadership.”
How has your experience with Lead Virginia helped prepare you for challenges like navigating the COVID-19 pandemic?
The COVID-19 experience has shifted by business model. In a matter of weeks in March, my entire calendar of contract work was eliminated because the contracts were for in-person training content. My experience with Lead Virginia exemplified the need for organizations to shift practices to meet the needs of its audience. Since social distancing was implemented, I chose to evolve by tapping into my relationships and paying it forward. I started partnering to share inspirational thoughts using technology around remote working and writing articles on the topic of leadership to share. I particularly wanted to send a message to high potential individuals that are currently not in a formal role of leadership (waiting in the shadows of their organizations) to seize the moment to lead in an article entitled, Rainbow Leadership Moment.” Moving forward for Define Success translates into re-defining our focus to offer virtual executive coaching and assessments and personally retooling current leadership and professional development training content to be effective in virtual environments.
How did Lead Virginia shape you as a leader?
The program expanded my perspective on the similarities and differences within the various regions of Virginia when filtered through the lens of economic development, education, employment, poverty and health initiatives. Each region had its successes and opportunities, however, the leaders in the communities of collaboration tended to have a greater impact in creating a thriving community.
Since Lead Virginia, how have you put your social capital to work?
I had the wonderful experience of meeting a cohort’s spouse. This spouse was interested in collaborating with someone with my background as an executive coach and facilitator. Since then we have continued to discuss potential opportunities to partner. I also volunteered to join the Regional Team to assist with program design for the upcoming 2020 cohort. In addition, social media is a wonderful way to stay in contact and to celebrate successes with one another.
What was your biggest takeaway or lesson learned from Lead Virginia that continues to resonate with you today?
The program underscored the power of collaboration and social capital in transforming businesses, local government agencies, and non-profit organizations. When they all work together, change happens, and it makes a powerful difference in their communities.