Dealing With Divorce President and Co- founder Lana Lichfield Crowley has been nominated as one of three finalists for the Inspiring Business Leader Award on Leadership Digest by Band. This award honors leaders who inspire their teams, value communication and camaraderie and strive to elevate others.
The sponsoring company, Band, hosts the Band app- a free communication tool for organizations and groups to connect and interact virtually. Band communities can share information, documents and chat in real-time while keeping everything in one accessible place for the team.
The DWD community was created to be a resource to those navigating and healing from the effects of divorce and as a founder and leader, Lana has demonstrated a selfless desire to lift others in their time of great need and vulnerability. She embodies strong communication and team-building spirit through her clear, energetic and warm leadership.
Read below to learn more about Lana and why she is so deserving of the Band Inspiring Business Leader Award and then click here to download Band and cast your vote for Lana!
Interview with Lana Lichfield Crowley – Band Inspiring Business Leader Finalist
Q: What’s your role and what does it entail? (duties, etc.)
A: My name is Lana Lichfield Crowley and I am the President and Co-founder of Dealing with Divorce, an organization dedicated to providing resources to people affected by divorce in any capacity. At the beginning, as a founder I was a jack of all trades. Despite my background in Public Health and Social Work, I took on web design, social media marketing, content creation, and curriculum building. Now, after a couple of months of recruiting and building my team, my role is primarily to direct the work by training and supporting our DWD facilitators and social media interns. I also help pave the foundation for our future by recruiting board members and driving initiatives. Despite the shift in roles, I still love to participate in our groups and be a participant as much as a leader.
Q: How long have you been leading your team and what do you like most about being a leader?
A: I originally started DWD as a club on my university’s campus in 2018. The club was very successful and consequently I was awarded a grant to make the club into a nonprofit. Around March of this year, I started meeting with the current president of the university’s club to begin the process of turning it into a nonprofit. As an organization we are in our infancy. We have been operating for the last 8 months & offering free virtual support groups for the past 2 months. What I like most about being a leader is seeing the effect our work is having on our members. After each support group we send out a short survey and the feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive. Another aspect I love about being a leader, is seeing the goodness of others to volunteer their time and dedicate their talents to this important cause. My team’s passion fuels me and inspires me to be a better leader.
Q: What’s Your Leadership Style?
A: My leadership style is democratic, or participative, leadership. This leadership style is at the heart of Dealing with Divorce. Our theology is based on a “circles” model where everyone is given the space and opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas. Even in our virtual support groups, our facilitators act as much as participants as they do leaders. After each support group, we meet as a team and discuss ideas and problem solve. I lead by strengthening the leadership skills in others and listening for their counsel and wisdom.
Q: What sets you apart from the other leaders?
A: Something that sets me apart, is that I am not afraid to admit that sometimes I really don’t know what I am doing! There is an unspoken pressure as a leader to have all the answers, but my novice approach has enabled us to adapt to unexpected changes-like Covid-19-, develop a talented and diverse team to lean on, and inspires our members to become leaders, even though they do not have all the answers either. It has created a culture where we are better together than ever individually.
Q: What were the biggest challenges you or your team faced this year throughout COVID-19 and how did you overcome them?
A: With our vision to create more DWD clubs on university campuses, COVID halted our operations for a time. After rethinking and adapting to the situation, I realized that this pandemic is our perfect opportunity to reach a broader audience and bring much needed connection in an especially isolating time. So while COVID-19 was initially our greatest challenge, it became our greatest opportunity. Because of the pandemic people are more willing to meet virtually than ever before. This has allowed us to meet with people from all around the nation and even people abroad in our international groups. With Zoom, we do not have to cover an overhead cost for people to meet in a physical space, yet we are still able to provide a free safe-to-share environment for people affected by divorce. Being willing and able to adapt to the pandemic has made all the difference–it has broadened our horizons and refined our mission.
Q: What advice would you give to other leaders or team members heading into the new year?
A: My advice to leaders heading into the new year is to not let the fear of the unknown keep you from moving forward. You do not have to have all the answers to be successful. Admitting what you do not know fosters genuine connection and collaboration and opens the door to creative solutions you never thought possible!
Q: What inspires you to be a better leader to your team?
A: The mission of my organization inspires me to be a better leader to my team. As a child of divorce, I know the positive impact a good support system can have. Consequently, I am passionate to motivate my team to reach outside themselves and carry DWD to those who need it most. In turn, we motivate each other and that is what has made us so successful.
The DWD community, programs, resources and friendships forming each week would not exist without the dedicated leadership of people like Lana. Please take a moment to say thank you and cast your vote!