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LEAD San Diego: Learning That I’ve Got a Lot to Learn

Morgan (left) & Pauline at their LEAD graduation

Today’s post comes from our Director of Development and Marketing, Morgan Justice-Black! Morgan, along with our Executive Director Pauline Martinson, recently graduated from LEAD San Diego‘s Impact San Diego program. All of us at ILACSD are extremely proud of their accomplishments and excited for them to be recognized as great leaders even outside of our office.

Just over a year ago, I was invited to join San Diego Gas & Electric’s staff at the LEAD Visionary Awards. Although I had heard of LEAD, I wasn’t expecting much from the event, aside from a free dinner and an opportunity to connect with some of our partners at SDG&E. What I thought was going to be just another dinner ended up setting me up for an exciting year-long journey in leadership.

Representing my hometown San Diego Chargers as they were “Super Bowl Bound”

Through LEAD San Diego’s 10 month Impact San Diego program, I learned that I’ve got a lot to learn when it comes to San Diego. I consider myself to be a fairly educated person, my radio is permanently affixed on NPR, I spend almost as much time on as I do on Facebook (hey, I do marketing…I have to be on Facebook!). But, LEAD’s Impact program made me realize that I’m not as connected with local issues as I should be. There is really no excuse for this, considering that I grew up in San Diego and have spent the majority of my adult life here!

Throughout the program, I was also able to get a behind the scenes perspective on so many things that us locals take for granted.

On the deck of a navy ship at 32nd Street Naval Base during LEAD’s session on the Military

Did you know that…

  • 10% of all cars sold in the U.S. come through the National City port terminal?
  • Military doctors use the same high tech “cut suits” as Grey’s Anatomy to simulate emergency surgery before deploying from the Balboa Naval Hospital?
  • California has the highest crime recidivism rate in the entire US at over 70%?
  • 26% of all jobs in San Diego are related to the Military?

Besides learning about the many trades in San Diego, our economy, our education, military and high tech sectors, the program taught me a lot about leadership. It taught me that “STJ’s” are the most prevalent Myers Brigg types among managers and leaders. In case you were curious, from my assessment I was categorized as an ESTJ (that stands for extroverted thinking with senses). It also taught me that not everyone can be a leader, especially in a program full of them! Sometimes, you just have to be humble, step aside, and let someone else take charge.

Just after graduation, the LEAD Impact Class of 2012


  1. I have been interested in LEAD San Diego for a few years now. How were you able to balance working full time, and the commitment that is required from the LEAD Impact program?

  2. LEAD is definitely a time commitment, but worth it in my opinion. The hardest part was taking an entire day out of the office once every month. The Leadership Action Team meetings were primarily after hours and done via conference call, so it didn’t conflict with work too much. I’m happy to answer any other questions you might have, just shoot me an email,

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