Scott Goodwin, a Director of Communications at Urban Alliance, participated in the 2019 cohort of Leadership Kalamazoo. With a majority of Scott’s work focused on outreach, the opportunity to make connections with those outside his typical network provided a different perspective and new opportunities.
“I got to meet a lot of great folks doing great things in the community that were really different from the kind of work that I was doing,” said Scott. “Last year, like the rest of the world, we had to change everything. So, it was nice to have people to talk through the frustrations, concerns, and questions in real-time.”
One of the initiatives Urban Alliance is working on centers around gun violence in the community. Through its partnership with Group Violence Intervention and the relationships with Kalamazoo Public Safety that Scott developed in Leadership Kalamazoo, he and the team have been able to focus their efforts.
“We’ve hired some additional staff that are doing a lot of outreach. And we’re building support and bandwidth, really trying to get to the root causes of what’s happening with violence,” said Scott.
A key takeaway from Leadership Kalamazoo that Scott continues to use in his daily work is the emotional intelligence training from analyzing his Gallup StrengthsFinder report.
“I’m a relational person off the deep end, that’s how I see everything. I’ve realized over time, that’s not the norm. So, it was great to work with people that process information differently and navigate a situation,” said Scott.
Scott also uses the insights he gained into emotional intelligence when navigating difficult situations at work.
“When you’re dealing with people that are in crisis or have a really troubled or complicated past, they need people who are going to walk them through that process…giving them some pathways out, but not really putting them on the clock,” said Scott.
Leadership Kalamazoo, powered by Southwest Michigan First, is Southwest Michigan’s premier civic leadership development program that helps professionals build strengths, talents, knowledge, and relationships to succeed in ever-changing environments. This feature is part of FIRST & 42’s Leadership Kalamazoo Alumni in Action series brought to you by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.