Commentary 2

A leadership story….. by Shirley MacBeath, FAB Board Member

I like stories.  I find them to be a powerful learning tool.  I don’t profess to be a great story teller, but I do have what I think is a great leadership story to tell.

Just over a year ago I met an amazing woman named Sharon who had a dream.  As with all dreams, it began with a thought, a yearning for change and the desire to create a new reality.  

Sharon’s childhood had not been an easy one.  She and her four siblings were raised in a low income area of Toronto, living with parents who were troubled by addictions.    By 16, Sharon was raising a daughter of her own.  Sharon knew she wanted more for herself and her daughter.

Sharon found her catalyst for change in running.  Every time she ran faster and/or further her confidence grew and so did her achievements.  Today Sharon is an accomplished management professional who continues to reach new heights athletically and professionally.

In 2009, Sharon founded Fit Active Beautiful Foundation (FAB) whose mission is to "Inspire young girls to become strong women” through the FAB Girls 5 KM Challenge.   Participants take part in a 12 week running program that encourages self confidence, the importance of goal setting and the value of community.

Now that you know a little about Sharon, let me tell you why I think she is a great leader.  Sharon developed a powerful VISION that she shared with interested community leaders, potential board members and possible funders.  Sharon’s goal…. to have 350 girls taking part in the program at multiple locations within 3 years.  She developed a PLAN that clearly articulated the actions required to achieve the goal. Sharon built a TEAM that incorporated the skills/talents she felt were essential to successful EXECUTION of the plan. RESOURCES, both financial and human were secured.  NETWORKS within the community that she chose to serve were established.  The elements for success were in place.

This April 100 girls in four locations in the Hamilton area will take part in the program.  Sixteen volunteer coaches will be trained to run the program. One hundred pairs of new running shoes, 100 water bottles, race registration funds, and 1200 healthy snacks will be provided at no cost to the girls. 

Sharon’s story is a wonderful example of what is possible when you have a dream, the desire for change and the determination to make it a reality.