Session 3 at Shaker Village in Canterbury was a truly special day. Not just because Shaker Village is a wonderful place to draw inspiration from, but it was a day that allowed us to get back to a lot of variables that made our overnight such a great experience; time together, team building and time to reflect on what we are learning from each other and the new concepts we are being presented with to be better presenters and future leaders.
Since we were to meet up with Amanda at Shaker Village, we went over our homework on the ride over to save some time. We arrived to Amanda greeting us in a country-style grand entrance that I don’t think she intended but was a great opener for Shaker Village! We settled into the Visitor Center to talk about the agenda for the day and loaded up on bug spay and sun block. By the way, thank you Laura as I had no idea SPF 100 existed until then.
David Lamb greeted us soon thereafter and joined us on our tour with Bill, our funny and very knowledgeable guide for the morning. He led us through the village on a perfect sunny day and did a great job of painting a picture of the past. He explained what the first settlers hoped to accomplish here, free from religious persecution after leaving England, and more specifically The Shakers that settled into this area and flourished because of their foundation of religion and community.
David was very eager to point out The Shakers’ incredible building skills and general attention to detail as well as their drive to refine processes and technology to make their lives better. As the tour ended, we thanked Bill for his time and made our way back to the vans and on to David’s amazing workshop! The man is truly the salt of the earth, proud of his ability but knows it’s not so much a gift of natural talent but the hard work and dedication required to get where he is today. While explaining his craft, David laced in some perspective on leadership, awareness of community as well as the importance of caring about the relationship we have with our environment and the people that live there. We finished up with a self tour of his shop and some chit chat. He thanked us for stopping by and off we went back to the Visitors Center for some lunch and to each create an artistic vision of what we felt represents leadership.
After lunch we were off to do some exploring of the grounds on our own, have some reflection, and journal answers to questions listed on our agenda. I really appreciated this time as I’m sure everyone else did. Slowing down for a little while is a blessing in disguise for everyone’s busy lives. We had agreed to meet at the Welcome Center at 2PM to share reflection questions with each other. We also tried out some opera skills with Tom Dunn and Will Ogmundson who were a lot of fun. They provided us with laughs in the process of writing a short opera on our own and then we all worked with them to write some musical opera and explore our theatrical ability. Some of us were more gifted then others as far as signing….nice work Amanda and Greg. Regardless, everyone was 100% involved in the process and the finished result was hilarious and overall another great opportunity to get out of our comfort zones.
We finished up the day by sharing our answers to the questions. What is one thing that prevents me from being a more effective leader at home and work? Why did I choose that one thing, and not something else? What is one thing I can do to begin to address this area of my life? I think in the short time we have spent together, sharing seems to be becoming a lot easier for people. A safe place if you will. Safe to share our hopes, dreams and struggles with balancing work, life, family in the pursuit of our own personal growth.
Author: James Cortez, Toyota Parts Department, Leadership Class of 2018