Grace Lyons, Candle Light Cove Community Relations Director.
EASTON, Maryland — The best leaders are constant learners. Those words, attributed to iconic former college basketball coach John Wooden decades ago, still ring true.
Grace Lyons utilizes her leadership skills to assist residents and team members in her role as the Community Relations Director at Candle Light Cove senior living community. An Easton native, Lyons always looks to learn something new and evolve as a leader.
She recently completed a nine-month Shore Leadership Program in which 25 participants learned through face-to-face discussions with community leaders and experts from organizations and institutions that shape the Eastern Shore region’s economic structure and culture.
“It was most challenging to step outside of your comfort zone,” said Lyons, who applies the lessons she learned to help guide the team at Candle Light Cove. “In some instances, we discussed the potentially difficult conversations we might have as leaders, and strategies for being effective in those conversations.”
“It was also challenging to step outside your comfort zone within the realm of self-reflection,” Lyons said. “During one class we took a specific deep dive into our personal strengths. We examined how those strengths may be viewed by other people within teams and also how to capitalize on our strengths.”
The Shore Leadership Program started in 1997. The Class of 2023 graduated in December at the Easton Elks Lodge 1622.
The program, led by Carol Graser and Dr. Joe Thomas, uses skill-building activities and conversation to foster collaboration and problem-solving. Executives, managers and leaders on Maryland’s Eastern Shore have an opportunity to better understand the issues and challenges facing the region.
“My favorite part of the Shore Leadership Program was the relationships that I created with a group of like-minded individuals — folks looking for growth, development, looking to expand upon their leadership skills,” Lyons said. “This network of people came together once a month for nine months and we were able to create valuable, lasting relationships.”
“I will continue to use what I learned throughout my career to strengthen teams that I’m part of, especially at Candle Light Cove,” Lyons said. “Our focus on different aspects of the region’s economic structure and culture provided insight that is beneficial as not only as an Eastern Shore citizen, but also as an employee of a local organization such as our senior living community.”
Candle Light Cove Executive Operations Officer Will Jones appreciates Lyons’ commitment to the program and her willingness to embrace new challenges.
“Grace is a true asset to our senior living community,” Jones said. “Her completing the Shore Leadership Program over the course of nine months is just one example of how Grace continues to expand her horizons. The relationships she built and skills she learned in this program will benefit the team members and residents at Candle Light Cove.”
Lyons appreciated how Candle Light Cove supported her throughout the Shore Leadership Program.
“I had heard so many positive things about Shore Leadership and all that the program had to offer. I went ahead and applied to the program and was accepted,” she said. “The team at Candle Light Cove held down the fort once a month, as I was out of the community with Shore Leadership. I look forward to maintaining these relationships with other class of 2023 members in the months ahead.”