Date Nights with the Severn Leadership Group? – An Unexpected Journey

Being in the program together showed us how SLG and the LITER virtues apply to our family.

Date Nights with the Severn Leadership Group?  – An Unexpected Journey
Ashly and Josh McClellan
March 5, 2024
Difference Makers

An individual going through the SLG program has an opportunity to experience tremendous personal growth. What about going through the program as a couple? What about one partner going through as a fellow and another as a mentor? My wife, Ashly, and I were given that opportunity during the Fall 2023 Virtual and Annapolis Cohorts, and it was an incredible experience! I participated in the Fall 2023 Virtual Cohort as a mentor and Ashly was a Fellow in the Annapolis Cohort.

Learning Together

Because this was my first cohort as a mentor in SLG, I was nervous and wanted to ensure that I helped my fellow have a positive experience in the program. Ashly had a case of imposter syndrome and was constantly fighting against the feeling that she didn't belong. The good news is that we had each other. My sessions were on Tuesdays and Ashly's were on Thursdays, so we would take the Wednesdays in between to reflect on what I learned and talk about what Ashly was learning in her session prep. This time to reflect helped to give us a different and richer perspective of what we were experiencing in our cohorts.

Through our conversations, I shared my insecurities with Ashly about being a mentor and she gave sage guidance on how I could improve, but more importantly, how I should believe in myself. Likewise, I continued to be impressed with how impactful and compassionate Ashly is as a leader and reminded her that she deserved to be in this program. Over time, these conversations evolved into philosophical discussions about different and difficult leadership issues and options for resolving them. It taught us both that even after 17 years of being together, we still had exciting things to learn about each other and to teach each other. It was powerful watching Ashly grow into a leader who believes in herself and has the confidence to know that she can help people become their best selves and accomplish incredible things together.

Beyond the Workplace

Being in the program together showed us how SLG and the LITER virtues apply to our family. We had to work together to allow both of us to be engaged participants in our cohorts and our commitment required communication, coordination, and patience. We took the opportunity to be more respectful in providing feedback and be more open to receiving feedback, although I can still be stubborn at times during those feedback sessions. Our conversations about the program also sparked our boys', Gavin – 11, and Jake– 8, interest in being compassionate and impactful leaders. They asked, and continue to, ask questions about what it means to be a leader and how to navigate challenging situations with their friends and classmates.

Being able to share in the SLG program together, has had a profound impact on Ashly and me. We have learned so much more about each other and have become truly motivated to share the "SLG Way" everywhere we can. We are so grateful to be part of the SLG Family and hope that others consider taking this journey as a couple!

Picture of Ashly and Josh McClellan

Bio Line:

Ashly and Josh McClellan are both SLG Fellows – Ashly from the 2023 Annapolis Fall Cohort and Josh from the 2021 Virtual Fall Cohort. They have two crazy boys, Gavin and Jake, who teach them all kinds of new things and challenge them to view the world from all kinds of different perspectives. Ashly and Josh are passionate about Servant Leadership and being a part of the Severn Leadership Family!

Date Nights with the Severn Leadership Group?  – An Unexpected Journey

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