"We All Have Our Own Stutter”: Jaclyn Boyes on embracing authentic leadership

"We All Have Our Own Stutter”: Jaclyn Boyes on embracing authentic leadership

(April 11, 2018) - Jaclyn Boyes knows a thing or two about interviewing. She works at Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE), which, as part of its mission, trains people to interview.

Yet, as she headed in to her own interview for the American Express Leadership Academy at the Arizona State University (ASU) Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, she found herself nearly overcome by nervousness.

“We all have our own stutter, that thing that makes us feel unworthy of stepping into greatness, into our own personal power. My sincerest wish for everybody in this room is to have a moment like mine, where a tribe of people gather around you in love, show you the reality of who you truly are, and ground you in the power of your own authenticity,” she says.

Each year, the Academy accepts a cohort of Arizona's top emerging nonprofit leaders for a year-long professional and personal leadership development program. By the end, graduates are poised to take on increasing leadership roles in the nonprofit sector. However, making it through to the program is no easy feat--the application process is highly competitive.

“I showed up to my interview and said things like, ‘I really hate my stutter,’ and, ‘I get nervous talking to the Board,’ and, ‘I want to be myself in all situations, can you help me?’”

Jaclyn left her interview feeling authentic and vulnerable--and most of all, certain she wouldn’t be selected for the program. But to her surprise, not only was she accepted and able to complete the program and accelerate her career, she was able to thrive. A year later, in May 2017, Jaclyn graduated from the Academy. The professional impact of her experience didn’t take long to start: Shortly after graduating, she accepted the role of Development and Training Manager at AWEE, and a position on the Board of Directors for the Homeless ID Project.

At her Academy graduation, Jaclyn gave the keynote speech, sharing a moving personal story about her experience with the Academy. She recalled the staggering fear she felt in the face of video-based media training – a training that she felt showcased her stutter more than anything else.

“I was completely broken. But then something magical happened.”

It was this moment that has helped shape her leadership journey in the months since. Read more and watch her speech.


As published by LeaderStories here.

About: Across the globe, social purpose leaders are tackling society’s most complex issues. LeaderStories shares the vibrant stories and insights that illustrate the ways that supporting these leaders helps build a better world for all of us.

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