The Rookie (by Carlee)

This summer I made a rookie mistake.

I told my friend who, along with his wife, is letting me graciously live with them this summer, that I had never seen X-Men. He was shocked and dismayed to learn the full extent of the super hero movies that I had never seen. What followed was an extensive movie education – X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, the Avengers, etc.

This week I made another rookie mistake.

When told that Wednesday is “comic book release day” by Sam, who works with us in 1E, I shared my cinematic deep dive experience with him. What followed was a 20-minute diatribe about all the reasons why the X-Men movies were wrong.

Like I said, rookie mistakes.

Although my passions do not lie in comic books – or should I say “graphic novels” as I am being corrected by enthusiasts – nor super heroes, there are fewer things I enjoy more than having these moments when you discover someone else’s passion.

Have you ever had that moment when you’re talking to someone and you hit that sweet spot of conversation? A moment when that person lights up and could talk for days about that particular topic of conversation? These have been some of my favorite moments this summer.

I’ve had many conversations this summer centered on leadership and Floricane. These conversations have been filled with these moments where people have lit up as they’ve told me about their organizations or personal leadership philosophies.

I’ve talked with Karen Legato at the Fan Free Clinic and been inspired by how she leads her team and the organization. I’ve met with Amy Howard at the University of Richmond’s Bonner Center for Civic engagement and been absorbed as I heard her vision for engagement amongst students and nonprofit organizations across the city. I’ve met people over and over again who are living their passions.

As I continue to immerse myself in the world of leadership, I can’t help but think of how passion and leadership are intertwined. Leadership can be about leading with your passion, but leadership can also be about taking the time to discover and unfold the passion of those around you. …even when that passion is X-Men.