Our team at HCA Healthcare was recently joined by Shawn Achor, a Harvard researcher on happiness & positivity, to help us explore best practices to increase joy, fulfillment, and resilience using his evidence based best practices. In his book “The Happiness Advantage” he provides fascinating insight into the strategies individuals can use to become more resilient and engaged. Three tips which resonated with me are:  “find something to look forward to – the anticipation of an activity or experience can increase your joy,”  “exercise a signature strength – each time we use a skill, we experience a burst of positivity” and  “practicing gratitude – by writing down three new things you are grateful for each day, it retrains our brains to push out the small annoyance and bring the good and positive into focus.”

This year, Young Leaders Council will provide you with a multitude of ways to practice these tips – offering fun and positive opportunities for us all to engage.

What can you anticipate? This year we have engaged a new staff member to focus on increasing connection and engagement within our alumni. You can anticipate more opportunities to socialize (hopefully in person), grow your own skills and expand relationships with fellow alumni. We will continue our partnership to support the Middle Tennessee nonprofit community with professional development opportunities to ensure you have education around the most critical skills organizations need from their board members. This year we will launch our inaugural YLC Legacy Council. Don’t forget to save November 17th on your calendar for the annual Leadership Luncheon! Our newest program participants can look forward to a refreshed version of the YLC curriculum with the first ever “blended (in-person and virtual)” experience.

How can you exercise your signature strengths? YLC launched our Impact Study in November 2021. This year we are going to dig into the results, with assistance from our partners at Belmont University Massey Graduate School of Business, to synthesize your feedback, and understand our collective strengths. The results will feed into the development of a robust Strategic Plan for YLC to guide our work for the next three years. We will be reaching out to you to help increase the visibility of the work of YLC, and we will increase the visibility of non-profits searching for board members through our YLC network. Stay tuned to our social media channels and newsletters so you can see how to best connect and engage.

What are you grateful for? I am grateful for each of you. For your participation, support, and love of YLC. We could not continue our mission to train diverse, committed individuals to effectively participate on the boards of nonprofit organizations and make a difference in the community by replenishing the volunteer leadership base, without your advocacy and support. I want to give a special thank you to HCA Healthcare Foundation and the Frist Foundation for their unwavering support of YLC since they co-founded us in 1985. Their support, along with that of Asurion, Amazon, LBMC, Belmont University, the Memorial Foundation and our other sponsors, foundation partners, and individual donors, has enabled YLC to graduate more than 3,000 exceptionally trained leaders to serve our community. As an HCA Healthcare colleague, our teams are always focused on the care and improvement of human life. The work of YLC embodies that commitment.

It is easy in the fast moving, COVID riddled, pressure filled, noisy world we live in to move so quickly we forget to take a breath, be thankful, plan and anticipate what brings us joy and share our strengths and talents with others. I hope this year you can reconnect with YLC and join us for some fun!