Alumni Spotlight: Shariq Siddiqui 

“Leadership Indianapolis produces the kind of visionary servant leaders that I know will make a difference for my faith community during this time of crisis.” – Shariq Siddiqui, SKL Class XXXV

What is your job title and the name of your organization?

Executive Director, Association for Research on Nonprofit Organization and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) – www.arnova.org

What was your biggest take away from the SKL experience?

Leadership is not something you are born with. Leadership is something that you learn, develop and live every day.

What impact has your participation in SKL had on your work in the community?

SKL has opened many doors that were previously unknown or unavailable to me.

What leadership quality has been most useful in your work?

Servant leadership.

What board, committee, or other community leadership role have you had recently that was particularly important to you? Why did you choose to serve in that capacity?

I now serve on the board of the YMCA of Central Indiana. This is a way to serve the central Indiana region through a high performing organization. This opportunity came about because of contacts I made through SKL. In addition to being a graduate of SKL, you have provided support and encouraged others to participate in Leadership Indianapolis programs.

Can you tell us how and why you have made that a priority?

I have made a commitment to sponsor and fund young Muslim Hoosiers to participate in Leadership Indianapolis programs.  I believe that we need high performing leaders to meet the needs of my faith community.  Leadership Indianapolis produces the kind of visionary servant leaders that I know will make a difference for my faith community during this time of crisis.

What piece of advice would you offer to emerging community leaders?

Leadership is something that must be consistently practiced and continuously developed.

Alumni Spotlight: Allen McClendon

“I choose to check in the game and contribute to the solutions.” – Allen McClendon, LEAD 2016

Allen McClendon, who serves as the Corporate Partnership Manager at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, went through our LEAD program this year. We asked him to reflect on what he learned and his role as a community leader.

What was your biggest take away from the LEAD program?

My biggest take away from LEAD is there is always room for improvement. There is a lot of science and research behind being an effective leader. LEAD helped me to identify areas that I should continue to work on in order to evolve as a leader in my community.

What impact has your participation in LEAD had on your work in the community?

My LEAD experience has helped me to really appreciate the volunteer roles I choose to
accept. No matter how big or how small my role may be, LEAD has refocused my desire to do the best job I can do 100% of the time.

What leadership quality has been most useful in your work?

Time Management has been the most useful quality in my work.As a result of my LEAD participation, I take more time to prepare for meetings which allows me to optimize my productivity.

What board, committee, or other community leadership role have you had recently that was
particularly important to you? Why did you choose to serve in that capacity?

Donating my time to a local Parks Friends Group. This particular park has always been near and dear to my heart. I have chosen to donate more of my time to this cause because I notice a need for community help in local parks. Instead of standing on the sidelines complaining about issues, I choose to check in the game and contribute to the solutions. I have also recently committed to serving on a Jewish Community Center committee because this is my family’s local community center.

What piece of advice would you offer to emerging community leaders?

I would suggest being intentional. Ensuring that you have passionate and relevant reasons for why you choose to help your community. A lot of service takes place in a thankless environment. At the end of the day you have to be happy with simply giving back.