My Selah experience was a meaningful encounter with powerful ideas and fascinating people. I chose to focus my energies on improving my partnership skills, and Selah provided me with insights, tools, and a network of relationships that pushed me to advance on that front in ways that were noticed by my colleagues at City Year. During the program I was given the opportunity to collaborate with another key department at my organization in ways that had the potential to powerfully support my own efforts — if I could initiative a conversation around sensitive issues of overall purpose and goals in a respectful and effective way. Through the tools we encountered at retreats, conversations with Selah peers, and the support of my study partner, I was able to advance the partnership in substantial and powerful ways. It didn't take long to see the ripple effects of that partnership. My supervisor told me that she had been hearing positive feedback from colleagues about a change in my working style. And soon after Selah ended I was surprised to find the head of the other department invite me to sit in on a meeting with a senior staffer from the White House Fellows program. They were looking for best practices in developing their fellows into leaders, and the department head felt it would be valuable for me to be a part of the conversation! I have no doubt that the partnership skills I learned through Selah played a meaningful role in creating this new level of interdepartmental collaboration, and it is exciting to think about how these newly strengthened relationships will advance City Year's leadership development efforts both internally and externally.
Max Klau, Cohort 8: Boston, 2010
Max Klau is the Director of Leadership Development for City Year where he oversees the leadership development experience of 1500 young adults engaged in a year of full-time citizen service. He received his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of education with a focus on leadership education.