The Essence of Balance in Leadership

The organization of Voices of September 11th largely reinforces the small-business nature of the organization, which enables staff to collaborate in a productive, friendly manner.

Given the organization’s main mission – healing victims after mass violence and tragedy – the values are very grounded in community, empathy, and hard work. These values largely translate into how each staff member completes their work. For example, the two founders, Frank and Mary, lead in a friendly way that makes staff members feel connected to the team, yet also garners a high level of respect. As an intern, I look up to the Fetchet’s and feel inspired by what they have overcome and achieved. The woman overseeing my individual work as an intern, Stephanie, commands a similar type of respect and friendliness. While she is easygoing and funny to talk to, I also am aware that she has been with the company for 14 years and has been a very valuable member of the team. The way in which she leads us helps me to produce my best work because I am not afraid to ask her for help if I am struggling with a certain task. Balance is a key feature of Voices, which is present in the values, attitudes, and expectations at my work site.

In addition, and very similar to these main values, Voice’s context largely affects the way it functions and is led. For example, the organization was founded after 9/11. Given this sensitive history, everything that the organization does is with great urgency and care. As such, given how time has evolved since the attacks, Voices is now working toward serving people affected by all forms of mass violence and tragedy, instead of only providing support to victims, responders, and survivors of 9/11. This recent provision has changed the organization’s structure and prompted them to hire new employees to maximize the potential output of the company. For example, the newest employee, Laura, has a background in health care. This foundation of knowledge has enabled Voices to target an entirely new population given this area of expertise. Because Voices focus on so many different areas, equal attention and care are required for each initiative. The team is well-balanced in a way that each staff member is given considerable authority in their area of expertise to help address each of these priorities.

This essence of balance is a fundamental quality of Voices of September 11th. It is represented through the leadership, values, and organization, which is what makes it so successful and user-friendly.