Meet Tycely Williams, the 2016-2017 Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and the 2017-2018 President-Elect of the Junior League of Washington. Between these roles and her position as the Vice President of Development at YWCA USA, Tycely is no stranger to leadership and responsibility. She takes these commitments and the responsibility of a leader to heart. Read on to learn about Tycely’s experiences in the League and a few words of wisdom!
Your leadership, both in JLW and in your career, is so focused on your values and passions. Can you tell us a little about both?
At YWCA USA, I partner with individuals and institutions across the U.S. to eliminate racism and empower women. My work at YWCA USA brings me genuine joy – mainly because it allows me to activate my personal values through a professional calling. Like fundraising within the Junior League of Washington, we focus our efforts on diversified revenue streams with a hefty reliance on the generosity of people and companies. We promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. We advance our values through advocacy and local programming that serves 2.3 million Americans annually. I am fortunate – I truly do what I love and love what I do.
What does leadership mean to you?
In simple terms, effective leadership creates, builds and preserves trust. Leadership requires one to forge a genuine partnership with people to create shared goals and a shared understanding of how to reach the anticipated outcome.
How can we all learn to become better leaders?
Leadership requires an enormous amount of listening, an essential distribution of power, and an extreme amount of self-care. You cannot lead without hearing and heeding the good, the bad, and the ugly. You cannot delegate a responsibility without gifting authority. And most importantly, you cannot be what others need you to be unless you make healthy choices: rest, exercise, and follow Mommy’s advice – eat your vegetables.
You’ve given so much to JLW through your time and service. How has your League involvement benefited you personally or professionally?
As a young woman, I encountered women within the League who, through formal and informal exchanges, encouraged me to be resilient, inquisitive, and courageous. Through the encouragement of League members, I planned my dream wedding, built a house, and started a business. When I questioned my decision to marry and reevaluated my emotional and psychological needs, many of these same League members stood with me through my divorce and lovingly helped me regain my happiness as a divorcée. Equally as important, the League helped me become the values-driven, nonprofit executive I am today. Educational sessions, leadership seminars, and committee placements helped me hone my communication skills, deepen my understanding of collaboration, and become better equipped to resolve disputes. I can attest, JLW offers a safe space for women to grow personally and professionally.