Discussion – 


Discussion – 


Open Door Direct Leadership Certification Program

Staff attending leadership program

This article is included in our Fall 2021 newsletter. Click here to view the entire newsletter!

How the ‘power of moments’ helped our staff grow as leaders

A full-time employee spends at least 2,400 minutes at work each week. But how many of those minutes are spent creating moments?

“There is a big difference between minutes and moments,” said Bethany Toledo, Executive Director at Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP). “Minutes are a measurement of time that come and go as the hands on the clock move. We rarely recall what happened to those minutes at the end of the day. Moments, on the other hand, have the power to redefine and shape our lives and the lives of others.”

Select staff from all our program and service areas were invited to participate in our Open Door Direct Leadership Certification Program, which focused on the power of moments. This program, created and facilitated in partnership with OADSP, was designed to educate, inspire, and grow our next generation of leaders.

A portion of the curriculum explored four types of moments: elevation, pride, insight, and connection. Participants were each given a large mason jar at the beginning of the program with a stack of post-It notes to capture the various types of moments they created and experienced between sessions. Those moments were then shared at the beginning of the following session.

The ‘moments’ theme helped tie together the various experiences of the participants. For instance, you can ask any Open Door participant about the popsicles on the first day, the drum circle, or the scavenger hunt, and they’ll be able to tell you all about those moments.

OADSP programs are research-based and designed to inspire growth outside of the classroom walls. They have trained and hosted tens of thousands of DSPs, frontline supervisors, and other leaders through various programs and events over the past 20 years.

Both Open Door and OADSP are passionate about developing future leaders, as well as inspiring current leaders to stretch and grow. This program is unique—it’s just as much about building on one’s personal leadership skills as it is about building long-term relationships between colleagues.

Kim Ahern, Human Resources Assistant, didn’t consider herself to be a leader before attending the program. She thought of leadership as something for people with higher-up titles and positions. Now, she understands leadership is something we can all participate in. “It’s about how you live your everyday life and treat others,” she said.

“To be a leader, you must understand how to motivate people,” said Ashley Oiler, ISP Manager in Supported Community Living. “So, to be an effective leader you must think outside of your own scope into someone else’s to achieve an objective.” The piece of the leadership program that really impacted Ashley was the languages of workplace appreciation, which helped her understand that different people can feel appreciated in different ways.

Participants have learned a lot about themselves. Victoria Davis, Program Director of Open Door in Union County, learned how to be more aware of others’ needs. “I am a servant to people, and I really have learned to serve each staff individually with their needs and meet them where they are.”

These lessons have helped improve personal and professional relationships for our leaders. Even better, the only cost for each participant was an open mind.

As the Open Door Direct Leadership Certification Program concludes in November, everyone is working on discovering their ‘why’ and using that to become better leaders going forward. Bethany Toledo’s journey started when she answered an ad in the newspaper for a “Residential Care Coordinator” at age 19. Now, as Executive Director of OADSP, she’s discovered that her ‘why’ is to support others to see just how much potential they have and give them tools to do so.


We’re excited that our leaders now have the tools and resources to make these discoveries as well!

Open Door

Open Door is a Columbus-based nonprofit provider for individuals with developmental disabilities. Our mission and vision are to inspire life journeys and cultivate valued roles for all people. What door can we open for you?


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