Amber McMillan: Embodying the Ethos of Servant Leadership

Amber McMillan
Amber McMillan

Amidst globalization, women from all walks of life have risen from traditional norms and are carving a niche for themselves. With their passion, perseverance, and pursuit of excellence, the idea of an inclusive utopian society has become a current reality.

Amber McMillan, the Chief Visionary Officer of Rogers Society, a diversely skilled professional, is a prime example of these courageous women. She approaches her work with knowledge and a drive to maximize potential. Since her arrival, she has overseen enormous development and transformation at the organization. Her ability to cast a vision for the future and stay involved in the day-to-day, hands-on work has contributed to the company’s success.

As Amber McMillan evolved, she realized her strength lies in forging her own path rather than conforming to traditional leadership. Striving to avoid any hint of arrogance stemming from this understanding, Amber found solace and encouragement in the continuous support of her loved ones.

Her experiences in the not-for-profit sector have been exceptionally enriching. In for-profit environments, passion is often overshadowed by the pursuit of market dominance, which easily creates an air of arrogance. In contrast, not-for-profits thrive on passion and tenacity, fostering heartfelt dedication despite having to navigate with limited resources.

This setting allows for a profound intersection of professionalism and passion. Amber enjoys bridging the gap between for-profit and not-for-profit environments, leveraging professionalism from the for-profit world and distilling it for a not-for-profit mindset.

Fostering a Collaborative Culture

Amber’s unique approach to innovating and leading projects in diverse environments was inspired by necessity. Faced with desperate situations, Amber had no choice but to find innovative solutions and take the lead. She recognized that true innovation is more impactful when it emerges from collaborative team efforts rather than individual pursuits.

This shift not only addressed the challenge of solitude she often felt as a strong leader but also fueled her motivation to inspire others. The evolution from desperate necessity to collaborative innovation has been a key factor in her success, transforming challenges into opportunities for growth and positive change.

True innovation carries greater impact when it blossoms from collaborative team efforts rather than individual pursuits. This transformative shift not only addressed the sense of solitude that often accompanied her strong leadership role but also kindled a deep-seated motivation to inspire others.

Shaping Better Trajectory

More than a decade ago, Amber McMillan consciously selected three guiding principles—projects, change, and people, to serve as the compass for her professional journey. These principles became the foundation of her education and certifications, shaping the trajectory of her career. In her dual role as a project and change manager, Amber goes beyond the mere execution of tasks, focusing keenly on the profound impact her work has on individuals.

As a people manager, Amber embodies the ethos of servant leadership, placing a premium on empathy and understanding. This intentional emphasis allows her to set aside her ego and cultivate an inclusive space where diverse voices can thrive. Her leadership mission seamlessly integrates projects, change, and people, fostering positive work environments that prioritize both success and well-being for everyone involved in the project.

Strive for a Lasting Legacy

Amber acknowledges that while she hasn’t dedicated sufficient time to professional writing in the past, it has become a top priority for her moving forward. Despite her current output, she consistently publishes a LinkedIn newsletter every Saturday. Looking ahead, Amber aspires to create more enduring content, something that can stand as a lasting legacy for her children and those who have contributed to her enriching learning journey.

Amber’s unique ability to identify root challenges is facilitated by a distinctive perspective rooted in her exceptional talent for simplifying intricate issues. While she continues to uncover the intricacies of this approach, she suspects that it may be linked to her neurodivergence, an aspect of herself that she continuously explores.

As a proactive individual, Amber doesn’t merely recognize issues but takes immediate action. She plays the dual role of an observer and a hands-on contributor, embodying a service-oriented leadership style. Whether addressing major concerns or performing tangible tasks like vacuuming or rearranging chairs, Amber is personally invested in the process. This ethos translates into her willingness, when engaged by an organization for a project or change support, to work collaboratively and shoulder tasks alongside others, reflecting a humility that acknowledges no task as beneath her.

Despite the immense difficulty accompanying job loss and abuse, Amber’s commitment to her well-being led her to seek therapy, coaching, and a deliberate focus on growing her emotional intelligence. Through these efforts, she transformed a painful experience into the catalyst for her personal and professional growth. Over the long term, this challenging episode liberated her and fueled a vibrant pursuit of awareness and advocacy for reclaiming one’s power.

Transforming Lives

Amber draws immense satisfaction from the profound impact she has had on the careers of others. Former staff members now leading remarkable organizations and mentees making impactful contributions stand out as the achievements she values most. These, to her, are the meaningful trophies that propel her towards future goals, continuing to make a positive and lasting impact in the lives of others.

The widespread accessibility of AI is reshaping the realms of project, change, and people management. Embracing AI to enhance work processes necessitates the evolution of new methodologies that prioritize the human aspect in every facet of professional endeavors. While some may harbor reservations about this transformation, Amber finds it inherently exciting. Just as with the advent of the internet, the integration of AI promises an array of innovative approaches to achieving success. Time is of the essence; those who embrace this technology will undoubtedly chart the course for the future.

Amber approaches personal and professional growth with a perspective that transcends conventional tools and templates. Believing that success extends beyond external resources, she emphasizes introspection and self-awareness as the keys to success, particularly when asked about the ‘best’ project management tool or template.

Amber has developed various self-assessment tools over the years to facilitate impactful change, serving as a foundation for professionals to gain deeper insights into themselves and fostering meaningful personal development. By encouraging curiosity about individual strengths and promoting self-awareness, she empowers leaders to instigate authentic and lasting change within themselves.

Creating a Space for Diverse Voices

In advocating for organizational growth, Amber champions the leveraging of diversity, the promotion of equity, and the demand for inclusion. Acknowledging the discomfort that may initially accompany such initiatives, she highlights the transformative power of surrounding oneself with individuals who possess the strength to highlight organizational gaps. Amber’s experience has shown that creating an environment where diverse voices are heard and valued fosters resilience and adaptability.

She firmly asserts that organizations unwilling to undertake this transformative journey risk their own survival. The critical question, in her view, becomes whether the discomfort of change is worth enduring for the sake of survival. Amber’s strategic approach to organizational development emphasizes the non-negotiable nature of embracing diversity and inclusion as essential components of sustainable success.

As an experienced advisor and Chief Visionary Officer, Amber imparts valuable advice to aspiring leaders seeking personal and professional growth that transcends the confines of a resume. She encourages them to delve into self-understanding, emphasizing that genuine and enduring change starts with nurturing curiosity about one’s strengths and fostering self-awareness.

In Amber’s perspective, achieving growth is a personal journey that places individuals in control of their destiny. She highlights the importance of recognizing that each day spent working for someone is a choice, empowering individuals to guard their intrinsic value and refrain from surrendering it where it is not valued. According to her, individuals possess the power to protect, nurture, and share their worth in meaningful ways with the world.

Aspiring leaders, according to Amber McMillan, hold the key to their own success by understanding and embracing their intrinsic value. Her advice serves as a guiding principle for those looking to make a positive impact in their respective fields, reminding them of the agency they possess in shaping their personal and professional journeys.

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