By Oona Mada
“Make new friends and keep the old. One is silver and the other gold. A circle is round it has no end. That’s how long I want to be your friend”.
This was the first song I learned when I became a Girl Scout leader in the early 2000s. As a new leader, I felt extremely overwhelmed trying to balance my home, work, and Girl Scout commitments perfectly. Little did I know the two women who invited me to join this amazing Girl Scout leader journey nearly 20 years ago would become my lifelong friends.
When I first met Tammy and Katie, they appeared to have their personal and professional lives in order. They could easily walk across any tightrope, and I wanted to do the same to alleviate the stress and anxiety that had been building up. I wanted to be the best Girl Scout leader for my girls and learned as much as I could from Tammy and Katie, Council, and other awesome leaders. Eventually, I found my way toward success and balance.
While on a recent trip with my two besties, I reflected upon how much the three of us practice Authentic Leadership in our personal lives. We are transparent, ethical, listen to one another’s thoughts, share our resources wisely and encourage each other to be better versions of ourselves.
Although they have not been involved with Girl Scouts for many years, I shared with them that I was writing this blog and asked for their thoughts on why they think our friendship has lasted so many years. Here’s what we discovered together:
1. We always live by the Girl Scout Law.
2. Over the years, we have created our own safe space, aka our circle, where we focus on what’s important inside – the care and custody of others and, most importantly ourselves.
3. We listen. We take the time to listen to one another, listen to our hearts (follow our passions) and listen to our bodies (Is this stress? should I eat? How am I feeling today?)
4. We reflect on our behaviors and actions and how it impacts ourselves and others positively or negatively. We are respectful and candid in our communication with one another.
5. We share (health, education, family, financial, and stress relief) resources and use them wisely.
6. We want better for each other and encourage one another to try new things, adventures and approaches.
As a member of The Authentic Leadership Community (ALC), I have met new and inspiring women whom I now call my friends. They, too, are committed to this journey – to support our Girl Scout Leaders and volunteers. To my silver and gold circles, I appreciate you.