Dr. Ashley Navarrette, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS), recently completed the Texas Veterinary Medical Association’s (TVMA) Power of 10 Leadership Program, a nine-month program designed to promote leadership qualities in veterinary professionals.
This selective program was previously limited to 10 recent graduates but for the first time, veterinary professionals at any stage of their career were able to apply for the 2022-2023 Power of 10 class.
Because of the program’s expansion, Navarrette was encouraged to apply to the program by her mentor and fellow colleague Dr. Lori Teller, a VMBS clinical associate professor and the 2022-2023 president for the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“I am a person who doesn’t want a glass ceiling because I want to keep growing,” Navarrette said. “So to have Dr. Teller identify me and tell me that I should do the program because she sees potential in me was absolutely meaningful.”
The TVMA led six sessions on topics that included leadership development, stress management, and financial responsibility, which allowed participants to increase their understanding and application of different leadership skills.
Navarrette said the most impactful session for her was on emotional intelligence, defined as the ability to understand and use emotions to effectively communicate and connect with others.
“One way I’ve utilized emotional intelligence is by slightly changing the way I approach students, because each student may need a different leadership style,” Navarrette said. “Veterinary students need a lot of support, and it’s really nice when they can find someone who not only listens to them but also gives them the specific tools they need to build themselves up.”
While the program is intended for participants to improve their leadership abilities specifically in their veterinary career, those who complete the program can apply what they have learned to other areas of their lives.
“There are elements from this program, probably from every session, that you can apply to your life,” Navarrette said. “This program is for anyone who wants to build their leadership and overall personal development, to make you not only a better leader within your practice but also to make you a better colleague, friend, and family member.”
Participants were also required to prepare a project on a topic of their choice, so Navarrette and her team set out to determine if the Power of 10 program has a positive return on investment. In the process, they discovered that a majority of Power of 10 graduates currently hold leadership positions within their practices and TVMA, and over 90% of them are still TVMA members.
“Someone once told me that most vets will be out of practice within eight years post graduation because of burnout and compassion fatigue,” Navarrette said. “But programs such as the Power of 10 increase longevity in the profession by giving individuals the tools to grow and adapt themselves beyond just leadership development.”
Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of VMBS Communications, Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; email@example.com; 979-862-4216