MSW/University of Maryland School of Social Work
Leadership qualities I work on include: transparency, effective listening, inclusiveness, integrity, continuous learning, and patience with process.
Number of years in management:
More than 10 years
What leadership qualities do you find to be the most effective in reaching your organizational or career goals?
How has networking impacted your career?
Networking has had a tremendous impact on my career and is one of the reasons I think the NSWM is so important. Each step of my career can be traced back to a relationship I developed with a colleague. While I have gone on many job interviews, the jobs that have led to the most satisfying work have been suggested to me by another professional. Baltimore is a small town that depends deeply on relationships. Figuring out how to maximize the relationships you have is one of the greatest areas of career development I have focused on. At this stage of my career, it's important to make connections for younger professionals while at the same time ensuring that I remain open to meeting new people and exploring areas for us to collaborate.
What are you reading and/or following now (e.g. book, blog, social media groups, etc.)?
I have two books on my nightstand. "Trust: Mastering the Four Essential Trusts. Trust in Self, Trust in God, Trust in Others, Trust in Life" by Iyanla Vanzant. I am really looking forward to diving into this book on a personal level and believe it's important to give time and energy into your own personal growth.
My other read is "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption" by Bryan Stevenson. I recently attended a keynote by Mr. Stevenson and it was one of the most inspiring talks I have ever heard around racism in America and our individual responsibility to fight injustice.
What advice do you have for those beginning their professional journey or who are already in leadership positions?
Facilitating staff meetings is an ongoing challenge for any organization. Figuring out how to disseminate information, seek feedback on organizational changes and clarify expectations often becomes the focus. As a manager, I have often struggled with how to create meaningful staff meetings that allow all of our employees to contribute to the discussion and accomplish our organizational goals all at the same time. It wasn't until we began using restorative circles to facilitate our meetings that I felt we had finally figured out a good structure. Now our monthly staff meetings invite each staff member to share a lesson learned, celebrate a success and one thing that is coming up. We circle the room one person at a time so everyone has a moment to contribute. I have a much better sense of how our staff are doing out in the field and what ways I can support them as a manager. Check out http://www.iirp.edu to get more information on restorative practices.
Do you have an initiative or project you would like to tell our readers about?
I would love for people to learn more about Public Allies: a national movement grounded in the conviction that everyone leads. Public Allies believes that everyone can make a difference and can work to inspire more citizens to believe in themselves, step up, and act. Throughout our nation’s history, lasting social change has always resulted from the courageous acts of many, not just the inspiration of the few.
We support the Public Allies Maryland program and opportunities to connect to this great initiative are in 23 cities nation-wide. The mission is to create a just and equitable society and the diverse leadership to sustain it. We are changing the face and practice of leadership in communities across the country by demonstrating our conviction that everyone can lead, and that lasting social change results when citizens of all backgrounds step up, take responsibility, and work together.
To contact Becky Davis for any inquiries please email her at
*The views expressed herein are those solely of the author and not necessarily endorsed by the Network for Social Work Management.