Finness’ Speech: Developing as a Leader

By Finness

Hello everyone. My name is Finness Avant and I am a Crew Leader for the Emerald Necklace Conservancy Green Team.

Working with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and transitioning from the Youth Leadership Program to serving a leader has allowed me to take part in many new experiences.  Not only in the field, working with plants, but also on a more personal level.  For example, DCR recently sponsored a Green Team trip to the Boston Harbor Islands.  This may not sound like a big deal to most of you, but I had never actually been on a boat before.  Anywhere I’ve ever gone at least had a bridge.

Another example: I call myself a Bostonian; yet I had never seen a ballgame inside Fenway Park before working with ENC.  The Green Team was down on the field behind home plate, taking pictures with Wally and having a great time.

For me, the most important new experience was actually serving as a Crew Leader this summer. There were 3 crews in the Emerald Necklace Green Team. Stephanie and I co-led Crew 2, aka “Park Bum Shwagga” (we were asked to choose a team name, and that’s what the crew came up with).

Serving as a Leader has taught me a lot about being responsible and being dependable.  I know I need to arrive on time or early, because my entire crew depends on me guide them.  I’ve also come to understand that there are different forms of leadership.  Starting out, I took the title quite literally. I would go in and start pulling invasives and weeding and pruning, expecting everyone to just follow my example. Then I’d look back and see that some were following, while some were still a little confused about their tasks. So I learned to adjust my style of leadership and give some crew members a push or a little more motivation.

These are leadership skills, strategies and virtues that I have learned through working with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, that I can take with me into the future, to future jobs and future projects.  And I’m very grateful to have helped my crew members develop some of these characteristics. I hope they take what they’ve learned this summer and apply it to anything that will help them achieve their goals. Good luck to my team in all of their ambitions, and I’d like to thank the Emerald Necklace Conservancy for this great opportunity. Thank You.

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