Kimberly Johnson

Over the years I have been blessed with many exciting opportunities in my life and chances to lead and inspire others. Because of such a diverse background, ranging from being the Commanding Officer of my high school JROTC unit to a youth counselor at Camp Buckskin for children with ADHD, I have learned to utilize a variety of leadership styles. I have found that in a military setting and on wilderness expeditions I tend to lead with a more authoritarian style, focused on efficiently completing tasks and maintaining safety and discipline. In a typical day­to-day setting however, I prefer a more transformational or democratic style. In business and school settings in particular, I like to lead through getting to know those I am with and motivating them to reach our common goals. I believe in listening to feedback, facilitating open communication, striving for group cohesiveness and delegating tasks to fit the strengths of my teammates.
I also believe that part of what makes me an effective leader is that I am extremely analytical. I know my own strengths and weaknesses and will ask for help when I am not up to a task. My values are important to me- I always try to be fair, honest, and open-minded and am quick to provide encouragement with a quirky sense of humor. Most importantly, I am very passionate about the goals I set out to achieve, and I give things my all in order to inspire and generate enthusiasm from those working with me. Ultimately though, the situation I am in dictates the style of leadership I feel is necessary, and I am comfortable adapting to changing environments and altering my methods if one style is proving ineffective.

My leadership experiences have meant everything to me and have shaped the person I am today and who I want to become. By working as a counselor for children who came from difficult situations I've learned the value of putting a little joy into people's lives and allowing them to feel valued. My time in JROTC, the Freshman Leadership Institute at Western Carolina University and hiking the Brooks Range in Alaska with the National Outdoor Leadership School have all taught me to take advantage of opportunities and to not only dream big but to go for those dreams. I believe in taking initiative and challenge oneself. I feel like my time being in leadership roles or training has helped me see what is truly important in life and has driven me to try to do more for others. I have also learned valuable skills in interacting with those around me, managing stress and working well under pressure.  While I feel I have made some contributions so far as a leader and have hopefully had a positive impact on many people of many different backgrounds, I believe my greatest contributions are just round the comer. Following my life's dream I have recently founded my own business, The Ninja Initiative, with the help of Alamance County's Small Business Center.  By winning a grant from the Alamance Community College's entrepreneurship program and competition, I am now creating a mobile American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course. My goal is to use this course to help motivate people in the community to live active lives and to bring back the element of fun and excitement that we all felt when playing on a playground as a child. Beyond that, I also hope to work with individuals who have disabilities to help them with coordination and physical fitness as well as to feel included and confident in themselves. There are so many opportunities to do more than just provide a service for a profit with this business. I want to be more than just a leader in the community; I truly want to make a difference.