Rob Keisling is the Director of Operations at Minnetrista. He is an Alumnus of the fall 2009 Emergence program and has stayed involved with Shafer Leadership Academy through various committees and community outreach. Rob currently serves on the Board of Directors for Rebuilding Together Delaware County, where he also participates as a volunteer. He has also volunteered with Muncie Mission’s Walk a Mile in My Shoes and is an active member of the Muncie Noon Rotary Club.
Since going through the Emergence program, what insights have you applied to your professional and personal life?
As a result of attending Emergence, I’ve started to recognize that you have to see beyond yourself and ask questions like, “Why am I going to work?”, “What impact am I making?”, and “How can I seek ways to better the lives of those around me?”. Emergence reinforced the idea that wherever your sphere of influence is, you get out of it whatever you put into it.
You have just recently served as Chair for CONVERGE 2012, the volunteer recruitment fair hosted by SLA. What made you decide to stay involved with SLA and to get so involved in volunteer recruitment?
The idea that everyone has a skill-set and the ability to get involved, to connect with your community and do something wonderful and helpful in your community is one I strongly believe in. That’s the difference between living here and just residing here. While Emergence teaches people how to enhance their skills and cultivate their interests, the missing piece was how to take all of that and put people face to face-to match aspiring and talented community leaders to various opportunities to give back to the community. It was a fun, exciting, and energizing experience to be involved in planning an event like CONVERGE 2012 and to connect individuals to the causes they care most about.
If someone comes to you wanting to lead others, but lacks the confidence or skills and therefore is apprehensive to do so, what advice would you give them?
I’d tell the person to find a way to discover their personal skill-sets and passions because understanding yourself is the key to leading effectively. I have found that you need that connection, or passion, in order to willingly engage your time and talents, and ultimately feel that you truly have contributed in making a difference.