Cohort Reflections


Uncomfortable Leadership

Meg Cipolla
Accounting Manager - Food Share of Ventura County

Where do I even start…this was, by far, my favorite session of the three we’ve had in the
program. I enjoyed “pulling back the curtain” to see behind the scenes of a few of our public
works. Speaking for myself, I know that I’ve taken for granted that when I flip the switch, my
lights will turn on or when I turn on the faucet, clean potable water will come out. Or even
when I throw my garbage down the trash chute at my apartment, someone comes to take it
away! One of the extremely eye-opening moments for me was meeting all the people who
make sure that all those systems and services continue operating seamlessly on the
community’s behalf. Not only that, but the pride, passion, and enthusiasm with which they do
that! Personally, I found it really inspirational and reassuring.

The Situation Room Experience really exceeded my expectations. I went in not looking
forward to it, to be honest. In a room full of 40 leaders, some louder than others, I find that my
tendency is to just let the loud people through, and I fade into the background. Being assigned
the Political Analyst role for CBS News forced me to be more vocal within my group. I was
getting information on my iPad and had to speak up to share it with my Chief News director.
Plus, I had to give a live broadcast! I was very much out of my comfort zone in this experience,
but I learned A LOT about myself and how I behave when I’m uncomfortable in a group.

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