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  • George W. Bush Institute

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Kristin Saboe (left) chatting with a fellow Stand-To Veteran Leadership Scholar

Creating a Community

October 15, 2019 by Kristin Saboe
Stand-To Veteran Leadership Scholar Kristen Saboe shares how the program helped her find a supportive community.

The George W. Bush Institute Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program helped me  identify a new tribe – one that fits me perfectly at this moment in time. This tribe defines me professionally  and sees me as a person beyond a job title or past life. I am seen as me, what I represent, and what I aspire to become. This tribe is one that understands what it means to say, ”Leading can be lonely,” and   “We are better because of our failures and challenges and not despite them,” as well as “Vision can coincide with an action-orientation.” 

It is often stated that being a leader or change agent may publicly be invigorating while simultaneously a lonely journey. It is possible to feel most alone in the communities you have birthed. Visionary leadership requires perseverance, rising above, and seeing a vision for success through a fog that requires the audacity to believe in your passion over and above the doubt others impose or that which lingers from within. 

On my first day back to work after graduating as a Bush Institute Veteran Leadership Scholar— following five-months of learning, growth, discovery, and connection— I was faced with two realizations. First, there is no break from a life of service – the meaning, the connection, and the ability to enact real change for other people is not only self-defining but will become legacy-defining. My legacy will never be my own, but that which is defined by the cascading influence I enable for what those around me can achieve. Secondly, the Veteran Leadership Program has allowed me to find a new family and community that, despite some moments feeling lonely as we each tirelessly pursue our passions serving the betterment of others and visions some find bold or out of reach, we will never be alone because we have 43 fellow scholars from our cohort, scholars that came before us, and those that will follow. This new community that we are privileged to call our own will forever be standing at our sides to whisper words of encouragement, enable action, and drive forward as a community and team. 

What I appreciate most is that our call-to-action is authentic, intentional, and pays it forward through contagious optimism that we are the change. As is frequently said within our Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program community – “If not me, then who?” 

We ourselves are a community, but we are also boldly inclusive. Courage, integrity, and intention will allow us to be the bridges between problems big and small, our networks in need of connection, and our continued growth. Sometimes in community we are chasing our dreams, other times we are chasing our identities, and other times we are simply trying to exist and, if we are fortunate, thrive. 

Through the Bush Institute’s Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program, I am privileged to have the opportunity to regularly reflect on how becoming one of the many faces in our community of scholars has enabled me to feel visible, re-energized, and humbled to bring our community to others. Call it what you will – contagion, ripple effects, cascading returns – we are leaders and we accept the charge. Thank you to the Bush Institute for giving each of us the platform, the community, and the space to explore. 


Author

Kristin Saboe
Kristin Saboe

Kristin Saboe is the Global Senior Manager for Organizational Research and Employee Listening at Boeing. She is also responsible for formulating and leading Boeing’s Veterans and Military Spouses People Strategy.

Through Stand-To, Kristin is advancing the execution and impact of Boeing’s strategy for its military-affiliated employees and the implementation of employer best practices and policies.

Full Bio