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Chamber Blog

Investing in Yourself and Others Through Leadership Advantage

Investing in Yourself and Others Through Leadership Advantage

Our Leadership Advantage Cohort 2 is underway. The class is filled with an exceptional group of leaders representing a variety of roles and sectors. Barbara Rapaport has led this group to navigate their own leadership journey as well as develop strong relationships with other leaders in the community.

Mel Trombley met with Jay Mahabir, Grand Rapids Market Director with Meijer, to discuss how this experience has been so far.

Q: After being halfway through Leadership Advantage, what is a tool or process that you think you will benefit long term?

A: In my 1 on 1, Barbara sent me a template for 1:1/Group Presentation preparedness. I am already utilizing and feel this will assist with organizational thought.

Q: Chamber Leadership Programs work to curate groups of leaders from a variety of sectors, communities, and styles. How does this benefit your experience?

A: The program allows you to share your real time perspective and gain knowledge from classmates that come from different backgrounds and experiences. I feel this allows us to stretch our leadership resulting in better decision making through our lives. The class is a very transparent and I have utilized some of the feedback and resources in my day to day.

Q: When we chatted over coffee, you talked about how you “grew up” in one of your first major leadership roles. I admire your growth mindset when it comes to leadership. What advice would you give to people with aspirations to lead?

A: My advice would incorporate three things.

  • Always value people and put them ahead of yourself. Learn how to serve people regardless of situation. Understanding how to develop the best in people requires relational connection. Spend the time.
  • Be open minded to change. Realize that multiple feedback points are very beneficial for your growth. There are many people you will meet that think differently. You must practice grand humility, assess the feedback and reflect on your implementation strategy.
  • Dream You can achieve anything you set your mind to. There is always a point where you cannot see past. Having great mentors that help open your vision allows you to set large dreams. Dreams do change after you accomplish them. Never stop thinking about what the next larger dream will be. “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”-Steve Jobs
Q: The group has quickly connected via Zoom. Between sessions, you can find the group meeting for lunch, golfing, and teaching cohort members about coffee. So Jay, we must ask the burning question: What is your favorite coffee? And why is it better than Folgers?

A: My favorite coffee is actually…..Tea! I drink tea daily and will only drink coffee on special occasions😊 My favorite is CHAI TEA!


Thank you, Jay, and to the entire group for investing in your personal, professional and community leadership. Lessons learned and relationships gained will remain for a lifetime.

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