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By Katie Coomer | Feb. 07, 2017

Grow Yourself


I have worked for Defenders for 3 years, and am constantly seeking new opportunities; the chance to grow, to expand on who I am, and become the best version of myself. Our company- we’re the place to work if that’s what you want. My boss called me in his office, and told me I was accepted into LIT, Leaders in Training. My heart was singing. I’m a class junkie. When people dig in, get deep, and explore the depths of our core, I thrive. I knew right away a transformation was on the horizon.


Cue Gretchen. What a light! She walked in the room, and set us all on fire. Eyes were bright, backs were straight, and the laughter poured out of our group of S’s (with a few I’s, D’s, and C’s thrown in the mix). It didn’t matter who we were walking into that room, we all grabbed hold of her electric personality and were given a clear picture of what to expect. My coworker Andrew and I had a quick dialogue about how this was right up our alley. We were ready to roll up our sleeves, and get down and dirty in this plot of growth set before us.


Comfort zones were stretched, vulnerabilities shared. Our group was quiet yet very involved. There was this connection brewing between all of us that was undeniable. Fast forward to the ropes course. This experience let our personalities shine. Some were quick to lead, others to follow. The chance for takeaways was endless. Everything applied to my workplace. I left motivated and ready for action in my current leadership position.

The two days of learning once a month really works for me. It gives me a solid focus for the next 30 days, and each class compliments the former. Our coaching class was a wake-up call. The secret sauce I had been missing. “Release the outcome. Ask the right questions.” Tia was captivating. Everything she shared was on point, real, and relatable.


The Patterson family in Indianapolis changed our LIT group. The B.U.I.L.D initiative, through ProAct in Indianapolis changed our LIT group. We went there to help a family in need. Oh, but the help they gave us. How can I even put it into words? God moved through that home the two days we were there. Everywhere you looked- His glory. This one is tough because you had to see it to understand. You would have had to have walked in there with us to know what it meant for us to walk out with a painted wall. More importantly, you had to feel it. We walked in with uncertainty. We walked out with love, laughter, hope, and conviction. We walked out with servant hearts.

Any wall that was built around us came tumbling down those few days. Transformation took place. Raw emotion filled our debrief. It’s the type of feeling you hold on to forever. The feeling that leaves you longing for more. For me, it is exactly what I’m called to do. To love my neighbor as I love myself.

LIT has been an incredible experience that has shaped me as a leader, and as a woman. What an opportunity that was placed in my hands and on my heart. The ground was tilled, the seeds were planted, and here I am- bearing fruit.