Edinalia Lopes is a Financial Analyst at IGT and a participant in the inaugural Emerging Leaders Development Program provided by RIBBA.
1. What has being a part of the Emerging Leaders Program meant to you?
Being part of the Leadership program means many different things for me. It gives me a chance to network with other professionals from RI, from different industries/cultures. Though I am not currently in a leadership position, this program caught my eye because I would like to grow in my career and this program is a way for me to learn more about what I personally need to get there. I wish this type of program was part of college/grad school curriculum because so many of the things we are learning can help everyone not only in their careers but also understand what leadership qualities they have and what they need to work on to strengthen. The program has given me a chance to step back from the day to day things I do for my career and evaluate myself; learn more about myself and learn about what qualities I have to become a great leader.
2. What’s the most significant think you’ve learned so far?
The program is teaching me more on how to be a genuine/unique leader and I feel like I couldn’t learn that elsewhere. Before this I felt like I had to fit a mold and follow what past leaders have done to be successful but now I am starting to understand how my unique abilities and characteristics can help me get to where I want to go. I think that is the most significant thing I have learned; that I can become a leader using my own strengths and not have to change everything about myself to be the type of a leader that others might expect me to be.
3. How has understanding your strengths changed the way you see yourself?
First of all, there were some things about myself that I didn’t know were strengths for great leaders! For example, when we took the assessment test and one of my qualities came out to be Empathy. I now realize how big of a strength empathy is for a leader, whereas before I thought of it as more of a weakness. I thought it would be seen as “caring too much” or “feeling too much”; now I see that it is one of the best qualities, especially now that I understand more about emotional intelligence and using it to lead. We are only half way through the program and I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself so far.
I think this program would be beneficial for anyone, In any area of work or career levels. Learning about our strengths, how to use our unique abilities, emotional intelligence and understanding the difference between managing and leading, is greatly needed! It can be an asset to someone just coming out of college or someone who’s been in their career for years; you can learn new things about yourself at any stage of life. Someone starting their careers can use this program to get a leg up, learn and hone on their strengths; and someone further in their career can learn new ways to lead and strengthen some of the characteristics they might not have given importance to, in the past. The world is changing and we can ‘t assume that the old ways of leading will keep working, so I would highly recommend this program to everyone!