On the evening of October 14th at the Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC), Troop 4149 brought area girls together with women in leadership positions from AAMC. The night included a panel discussion, a tour of AAMC’s SAIL Center, and small group discussions. Below you will find a rundown of the advice and pointers given during the panel discussion portion of the night.
Each speaker was introduced by a member of troop 4149 and spoke about a different aspect of leadership. Panelists for the evening were:
- Victoria Bayless, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anne Arundel Health System (AAHS)
- Sherry Perkins, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Nursing officer at AAMC
- Barbara Baldwin, Chief Information Officer for AAHS
- Jan Wood, President of AAMC Foundation and Chief Development Officer
- Shirely Knelly, Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety, Corporate Compliance Officer and President of Pathways
- Briana Walton, Director of Female PelvicMedicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Ms. Bayless was the first speaker for the night. She was asked to talk about how she got to her position of leadership within AAMC, and what advice she had for girls who were interested in attaining leadership roles in their future careers. Ms. Bayless told the group that she first started volunteering at the age of 13 and was always looking for new opportunities. Her advice was to listen carefully, ask questions, volunteer, and look for role models in order to become an effective leader. She also shared her favorite quotation from Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back: “Do or do not. There is no try.” She explained that to her, this meant that it is not your words but your actions that define who you are and how you lead.
The next speaker of the night, Girl Scout Alumna, Sherry Perkins began in true Girl Scout fashion, with a song. She then went on to discuss the importance of role models, asking questions and decision making. “What ever career you end up in, you will be making decisions,” Perkins said. She also noted the importance of teamwork in making decisions.
Following Ms. Perkins, another Girl Scout Alumna took to the podium. Barbara Baldwin, Chief Information Officer for AAHS, spoke to the importance of curiosity, energy and focus as traits and characteristics needed in becoming a leader. She noted the importance of her time as a Girl Scout and assured the girls that what they are doing in their lives now is important to who they will become. She ended with a quotation to reinforce the value of education, volunteerism, and being focused, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” – Alice in Wonderland
Next up was Jan Wood. She elaborated on the importance of volunteerism and collaboration in developing leadership abilities. “To whom much is given, much is expected,” she said. Ms. Wood also stressed that “managing is not leading.” This means that being a leader is more about inspiring others and creating a feeling of inclusion, than it is about getting things done yourself. Leaders have a vision and they inspire others to make the vision a reality, “leaders make things happen.” She ended on an optimistic note, assuring the girls that she is “very excited to see the things [they] are able to bring to the world.”
After Ms. Wood spoke, Shirley Knelly, former teacher, spoke to the girls about tests. “Who here loves tests?” she asked a very puzzled crowd. “As a leader, you will learn to love tests.” Ms. Knelly stressed that when you are a leader, or are in charge of something, there will be tests that measure and challenge your abilities. She also spoke to the importance of having followers: “You can’t be a leader unless you have followers,” she said, and then went on to explain how to get followers. Her suggestions on how to do this included: ask questions, seek advice, share information, and take advantage of learning opportunities, all of which will lead you to build confidence and show others that you can lead them towards their goals.
Tha last panelist of the night was Briana Walton. She began by asking the crowd what grade they thought she was in. After a few numbers were shouted out she said “I’m in 27th grade, and I’m not done learning.” She then continued to speak on the idea that your education is never over and that in order to truly know yourself and your interests and capabilities you must continue to learn. Ms. Walton told us that one key aspect of being successful in life and as a leader is to know what inspires you. Once you know that it is easier to encourage and inspire others to reach a goal.
Following the discussion, the panelists answered questions from the girls in attendance about volunteerism, how to over come shyness and who to talk to about career options.
Way to go troop 4149! What an awesome way to earn your Bronze Award! Check back next week during “STEM Week on the GSCM Blog” to see what the girls found when they went into the SAIL Center at AAMC!
What an awesome project!!! As a life-long Girl Scout and former Girl Scout leader of over 20 years I know the amount of hard work these girls put into organizing this event. It makes me proud to say that I am a Girl Scout and validates my life-long opinion that Girl Scouting builds strong, capable female leaders. Way to go Troop #4149 and kudos to your troop leaders!