The Venue for Attaining the Artistry of Leadership.
The first time I met Janine Mason some 14-15 years ago, I didn’t realize how impactful she and the then Fieldstone Leadership Network (now Fieldstone Leadership Network San Diego) would have on my organization and for my own professional growth. As it has with many leaders and their organizations, Fieldstone, is valued resource for Mama’s Kitchen, the organization I’ve had the privilege of leading for over 20 years.
Most of our leadership team has participated in one or more of Fieldstone’s programs. Consistently, their leadership growth/evolution has been palpable: how they approach their role in the organization, their leadership evolution, and even interacting skills, like tone and cadence, that may otherwise go unnoticed. As a result, our work environment is imbued with inquiry, listening, and creating safe spaces for fuller engagement and commitment.
My years of participation in the Network have increased my awareness of what it truly means to be a leadership in the nonprofit sector. It has simultaneously been an exercise in growth and humility. My definition of success has been altered: the journey has become as important as the outcome. Consistent with our core values, we achieve our mission with integrity; in a manner that dignifies and respects those engaged in the expression of our mission: staff, volunteers, donors, service recipients, board of directors, and the broader community of collaborators.
There are aspects of the nonprofit sector that both distract and define us as leaders. Critical components like strategic planning, financials, the management of government grants, human resources management, and fundraising, are some that come to mind. There is no dismissing of the importance of these components in organizational management. The insight of understanding and deciphering these components is critical for the work that we do. And beyond that, executing with grace, patience, kindness, humility and confidence is the art of leadership. And Fieldstone provides the venue for attaining the artistry of leadership.
Alberto Cortés, CEO, Mama’s Kitchen
Alberto Cortés has been working in the nonprofit sector for over 35 years. He serves as CEO of Mama’s Kitchen. Alberto also serves on the board of directors of San Diego Pride, has been coaching nonprofit leaders for close to 10 years as part of the Fieldstone coaching program, serves on the San Diego HIV Planning Group. Alberto has participated in the following Fieldstone Programs: Executive Learning Group, the Coaching Program, the Leadership Reading Group. Additionally, he had the privilege of being in the first cohort of participants in the Clare Rose Sabbatical Program in 2014.
Each week during our 40th anniversary year, a member of our Network will share what Fieldstone means to them and how being a part of this learning and leadership community has impacted them and the work they do to serve the community.
If you have a story you would like to contribute to our collection, please contact Janine Mason.