LeaderShape Alive: Community

By: Joanna Lindstrom, L Professional Writing

Bagel sandwiches helped create a community. The Institute gave it a shared vision and strong accountability.

The year was 2007. Roommates Caroline (Welch) Kipp and Heather (Shaw) Haubenschild (pictured with Joanna Lindstrom) roomate-loveshared bagel sandwiches on their fixed college income, speared toilet paper (that’s a long story) and became close friends over the course of the school year. The close-knit community was created.

As the year wrapped up, Caroline encouraged Heather to participate in the week-long LeaderShape retreat she had attended the year prior.

“To me, LeaderShape was about stretching – both my goals and my comfort zone,” Caroline said. “It taught me to think big and then act.”

Caroline shared with Heather her vision to change the journalism industry by creating a culture of journalists who report with integrity. But, most importantly, she demonstrated her commitment to integrity every day as she battled ethical issues and reported on controversial topics as the Editor-in-Chief of the college magazine.

Intrigued by her words and inspired by her actions, Heather signed-up.

On the other side of the retreat, Heather found the experience to be as monumental as her roommate did. The vision Heather created was to provide necessary, community-based services for children with special needs at little to no cost to the family.

“LeaderShape taught me the value of collaboration and team work. It’s amazing what we can accomplish for each other when we work together.”

Communities evolve with changing times. The days of sharing space and bagel sandwiches are gone, but the pair continues to rely on each other.

“No matter what, Caroline is my go-to person,” Heather said. “She is the person I can trust will reignite my passion and keep me true to my vision.”

Like a bagel sandwich with two slices and a filling- this story has three parts. Stay tuned next week to read how Institute grad Heather is changing the way faith-communities embrace children with special needs.

Share with us – Who is your community? Who keeps you true to your vision?
Comment below or use #leadershapeinstitute #mycommunity in social media.


Joanna (Thomas) Lindstrom is a writer/editor and the third roommate of Caroline and Heather. She primarily writes grants for medium-sized nonprofits but also dabbles in blog, newswriting, and fiction. Joanna lives in Colorado with her husband, toddler, and slightly neurotic Schnauzer. She loves living close enough to meet with Caroline and Heather regularly. Visit her online: lprowriting.com

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