ISBLI Reflection – Saudia Muwwakkil

The ISB Leadership Institute (ISBLI) gifted me with an opportunity to engage in the long overdue process of transforming my leadership skills. I could not have imagined that the impact of the ISBLI training program would manifest in my life so profoundly and quickly. I figured my time in ISBLI would serve as an incubation, readying me for future leadership positions. Frankly, I hadn’t considered that the program would have an immediate and substantial impact on my life and work.

Strengthened by a dynamic roster of experts in human development, organizational psychology and global leadership, ISBLI supplied our cohort with advanced skills needed to become trusted leaders who help people and communities thrive. Over the summer, I had the professional opportunity to put my new skills into action when an industry norm was challenged. Informed with ISBLI lessons, I championed the new approach.

From day one, it was clear that the success of ISBLI would be measured by our ability to, not only acquire knowledge, but also apply it with confidence and as a matter of course. Over the span of ISBLI, we were trained on principles and practices designed to help bring us into our fullness as human beings, people of faith and community contributors. ISBLI challenged me and stretched my thinking and perceptions. Among other successes, the lessons of this program have helped shape my involvement in work to transform the cultural heritage industry. What’s more, those lessons are sure to remain with me for a lifetime.

The team projects addressed pressing community needs. Our group developed a census model that would enable the Georgia Muslim Voter Project (GAMVP) to count the Muslim population of Georgia. Since success for GAMVP requires a clear and accurate understanding of who the Muslims of Georgia are and what matters to them most, we contributed in a meaningful way to help ensure inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making in local and national democratic processes.

I sincerely thank ISBLI, the 2020 cohort and especially the Green Team for their time, commitment and investments, which have collectively equipped me with tools and experiences necessary to help me reach my greatest potential.