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Summer is a Great Time for Fresh Start at YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

Children are at day camp, out on bikes and jumping into pools, cars pass by with canoes and kayaks strapped to the roof. Families are enjoying reunions and spending time together. Baseball and soccer teams are playing in the parks, and evenings come to a peaceful finale around campfires all across Simcoe/Muskoka. What better time to start a new job with the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka?

Growth and Change at the YMCA of Simcoe/MuskokaBeautiful shores of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka's Geneva Park Conference Centre

It is a genuine privilege to join the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka at a time when so much is taking place in an organization with a deep history and a firm foundation of success. Having spent summers in this area as a child, my wife and I are happy to be calling this beautiful and familiar area home for our family. I have spent the past thirty years with different YMCA’s across Canada and welcome the opportunity to come to Simcoe Muskoka, one of the most successful YMCA’s in the country.
It is a time of tremendous growth for the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka as well. With new and improved Ys in Wasaga Beach, Midland, Orillia, Innisfil and investment in Collingwood, we will soon be turning our attention to Barrie. Our unique partnerships in each location are evidence the YMCA has the long-standing relationships and physical presence to impact our communities in positive and lasting ways.

The YMCA Brings Leisure and Recreational Activities to Communities in Simcoe/Muskoka

As the summer unfolds, I will be visiting many of the locations across Simcoe/Muskoka. I am looking forward to spending my summer meeting people in each community and sharing Y stories, both in person and through my blog. Summer is a great time to reflect on our progress, recharge and have fun.

If you are interested in contributing your Y stories, I would like to invite you to share them as well as your thoughts and comments on this blog.

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Strengthsquest - self assessment

• Identify your top 5 talents
• Learn the power behind your talents and how to intentionally apply them daily
• The benefits and power of a strengths based approach
• The tools to begin your StrengthsQuest journey and establish a strengths based culture

Leadership Communication

• Identify your communication style
• Gain awareness about the impact you have on others based on how you communicate
• Learn techniques and the awareness needed to be a truly great communicator

Transformational Leadership

• Defining leadership throughout the ages
• Learn to differentiate between trending concepts on leadership to those that are proven, relevant and applicable today
• Learn to identify what leadership styles have influenced you and what leadership style and the characteristics you would most like to exemplify. What form of leadership is your team or organization led by? Which style would have the most impact?

Strategic Planning

• Why is it important?
• How does one get started?
• What makes a good strategic plan? – learn the essentials

Team Effectiveness - Stages of Development

• Be provided with the tools needed to assess at what level of performance your team is working at
• Learn to kick start and transition your team to one that is highly performing

Mindfulness - Group Approach

• Strategies, techniques & its importance towards attaining a work/life balance

Strengthsquest - Motivation and Engagement

• Learn to manage your talents and those of your team as an interactive process
• You will be able to assess if you are in the right role and determine if managing people is the right fit for you? Are you developing or damaging your teams?

Managing Performance

• Tried and true tools perfect for staff evaluations
• You will be able to differentiate between critical behaviour needing intervention versus behaviour that can be coached
• You will be provided with the tools on how to address staff behaviour & coach your teams


• Learn the science, physiological & psychological responses that impact decision making and personal interaction
• You will be able to look at the work environment through a different lens noting its impact on potential employee performance and learning the means to intervene and influence for better results

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Resiliency

• Provides additional insights on how you are perceived and how that awareness can lead to greater impact as a leader

Change Management

• Examines the impact change has throughout an organization and provides you with the tools and understanding of how to navigate through change with the least collateral & cultural damage

Conflict Resolution

• Learn the tools needed to be able to find the common ground needed to move beyond an impasse

The Art of Persuasion

• Realize the weight of your words and actions and how to put that knowledge to the best use
• Where do you fit within the political milieu?

Strengthsquest - followership and leadership

• Move beyond what your individual talents contribute to a team and start to learn to intentionally aim & maximize the talents of others
• With this understanding you will be able to address and provide what your team members need from you as their leader

Principled-Centre Leadership

• You will learn to appreciate and consider the weight of responsibility that comes as you evolve as a leader
• You will examine ethical dilemmas and the means to address them, as well as the consequences those decisions may have

Philanthropic Leadership

• Learn a strategic approach to philanthropic visioning for your organization. As the funding landscape changes so too must our approach to philanthropy
• You will examine your readiness to adapt to these changes and how to instill a framework and culture of philanthropy that can be sustained for the long term

Board Governance

• Learn the importance of Governance and the essential role it plays as part of any organization
• Learn to assess at what stage of Governance your board operates at and how to move their level of engagement should your organization be ready for the shift
• You will be given the tools to fully understand & implement best practices of governance into your organization

Collaboration and Strategic Partnerships

• You will be provided with the tools in order to assess the readiness of your organization and your board to collaborate or partner with another organization
• We will discuss and examine what governing practices need to be in place in order for collaboration to not only occur but also succeed

Unconscious Bias

• Everyone is biased. With that understanding and acceptance you will learn how to make decisions that acknowledges the role bias can often play within that process
• You will discuss best practices and be provided with the tools needed to implement them

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