Leadership Spotlight: Elizabeth Fair

1.   How long have you been in the Junior League of Washington (JLW)?

Seven years.

2.    Tell us a bit about your first JLW leadership experience. What inspired you to lead?

My first experience in leadership was on the Community Events Planning Committee (now Literacy Events Planning Committee), where I raised my hand to be the Area Manager of the book-signing lines. This was my first step into a leadership role on a committee, and this helped to make me feel like I was doing more with my volunteer time with the League. I was able to get this role by reaching out to the committee chair and simply saying I was willing to help out wherever needed.

3.    Tell us about the other positions you’ve held and what you’ve experienced through the process of developing your leadership in JLW.

After my experience with Literacy Events Planning Committee, I began to actively express my interest in future leadership opportunities to the chairs of other committees I served on, as well as with other members who had already begun to hold leadership roles within the League. The following year, I self-nominated to be a New Member Committee (NMC) rising chair and was selected to serve as the vice chair for advisors on the NMC Steering Committee (which I did not have to go through the nominating process for). At first, I was not picked to be the rising chair, so I went about my work on steering and continued to attend League events and get to know other leaders across the League. Through some unforeseen circumstances, I was able to self-nominate mid-year to fill the NMC Rising Chair duties for the 2016-2017 League year and was selected!

4.  Share an example of how your leadership skills have grown or evolved as a JLW leader.

I am very introverted, so having a leadership role within the League, where one often speaks in front of 100-plus people, is a continual challenge for me. By stepping outside of my comfort zone, I have been able to develop more confidence in myself and in my abilities. Having a leadership role has really helped me to see all of the things I can accomplish when I allow myself to be put in those uncomfortable situations.

5.   What is the number one piece of advice you would give a JLW woman who is considering a leadership role for the 2017-2018 year? 

Self-nominate! You never know where your talents can be used within the League and self-nomination is a great way to show you’re interested in serving. Even if you are not selected the first time, go to your committee chair and ask where you can help your committee out. A willingness to go above and beyond what is required on your committee will get noticed and help create a path towards future leadership opportunities!

Are you or someone you know interested in JLW leadership? Nominations for assistant council director and committee chair and rising chair positions and willing-to-serve forms are now being accepted. Be sure to nominate or self-nominate by February 1, 2017! If you have any questions about the nominating process, contact Brooke Horiuchi. Here are links that provide the 2017-2018 Chair descriptions and  ACD descriptions. Find the Nominating form here.