Monday, August 24, 2015

Say, "YES!" to Opportunities in Life

The email arrived from Nancy Henderson, LPGA Chief Teaching Officer and President of the LPGA Foundation, asking to set up a time to talk. I didn’t know what she wanted to talk about. At the time I was part of the selection process to be on the Golf Channel, so I thought it might be concerning that opportunity. It wasn’t.

On February 27, we had our call. Little did I know, the call was about something much greater then being on the Golf Channel, it was an opportunity to impact the lives of teenage girls in a positive life altering way. Nancy invited me to be the lead LPGA Professional on a new initiative through the Girls Golf Program, an LPGA Leadership Academy! She explained that the goal is to teach leadership skills through golf in a 2-day program. My answer was a resounding, “Yes!”

Our first meeting was set for a month later to begin to design the 2-day program. I was so excited to work with Nancy in creating this extraordinary program for teenage girls! She is an amazing leader and professional who I have admired and respected since meeting her in the early 1990’s.
We sat with a blank piece of paper and began. Nancy asked, “What are the qualities of a great leader?”

Under the leadership of Nancy, theLPGA Leadership Academy for teenage girls was created and initiated. The first Academy was held on August 9 & 10 at Glen Arbor Country Club. This 2-day program was designed to not only teach skills and strategies for leadership but also to shape and develop leadership behaviors in these young women. 

It was amazing to observe the quiet unsure teens who registered on the first day transform into confident, self assured leaders just two days later. The program included both indoor sessions and outdoor stations.

The indoor sessions taught the girls about personality traits, positive self talk, empowering words, body language, how to feel confident, changing limiting beliefs, formula for success, different types of leaders and so much more!

The sponsor of the Leadership Academy, AXA, brought in a panel of very accomplished and impressive female employees to share their success stories. It was very impactful for all of us to hear about their journeys.

One example of an outdoor station is the putting station. Each girl had a partner and one put on a blindfold. The person with the blindfold was not allowed to speak while her partner talked her through a putting challenge. Once that was complete, they would go to another hole where they both had to be quiet, still with one girl wearing a blindfold. The goal in this station was to teach the very important leadership skill of communication.

Other stations were designed to have the girls experience decision making, overcoming obstacles, self confidence, goal setting, analyzing the strategy and re-adjusting if needed and other valuable leadership characteristics. 

As Nancy Henderson says, “Leadership involves living in the state of possibility, making a commitment to a vision and moving that vision into action.” Through Nancy’s leadership, the vision of developing teenage girls into leaders through golf became a reality!
We are thrilled that AXA has committed to sponsoring four LPGA Leadership Academy’s in 2016! 

Be Positive - Live Positive - Golf Positive