Broadcast via Zoom, Mantella urged for a more collaborative effort to
work at the intersection of different fields “where knowledge is created.”
Each graduate offered thoughts on how they’ve incorporated working at
those intersections across different fields into their careers.
Harris, founder of DRHarris Consulting, said the concept was about
becoming more self-aware of your strengths and understanding how they
align and fit across fields.
“Leading at the intersection means you’re three-dimensional, and
knowing who you are,” said Harris.
Reiss said her interpretation of Mantella’s comment meant focusing
more on listening and understanding others’ experiences and expertise.
“It’s at a point of being able to have honest conversations about who
I am as a person, and listening to what other people have to say,”
“Growth is continuous. Even in midlife, it’s amazing how much I’m
learning about this. You have to be willing to listen.”
The conversation also evolved into the importance of mental health in
a professional setting and developing empathy as a leader. Reiss, an
occupational therapist at Spectrum Health, shared an example from her
professional life exemplifying the topic.
“Spectrum had an initiative for 2021 about belonging,” said Reiss.
“They wanted people to feel like they belonged.
“You come to realize how nice it is. You find out things about people
you didn’t know. Now I’ve come to appreciate this sharing of emotions.
It brings us together as a team.”
Williams, a city planning commissioner for Grand Rapids and CEO of
CORE, LLC., said his biggest learning experience was a result of a
project focused on the wrong objective.
“The biggest failure I’ve learned from, it was all about the work and
not about the people,” he said.
And in her closing remarks, Harris encouraged the students to embrace
continuous learning, bettering themselves through their years ahead.
“No one’s perfect,” said Harris. “It’s an ongoing lifelong process.
You can always work on being better. Get outside of your comfort zone,
and do it anyway.”