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Karen DeSanto

Karen DeSanto has a frank conversation with the 2018-19 Sauk County Institute of Leadership class about the power of mentorship on Dec. 13.

The Dec. 13 meeting of the Sauk County Institute of Leadership featured a session titled “Can a Good Leader Act Like a Clown?” Despite the whimsical headline, the group paid serious attention to Karen DeSanto, former professional clown and current executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Wisconsin.

The group examined the distinctions between leadership and mentorship at this meeting. Mentorship is an anchoring principle in DeSanto’s Boys & Girls Club programs. She cited several examples of her personal mentors and pointed out that she sees mentorship as key to helping her staff reach their highest potential. Mentorship for kids in the club comes from adults and peer-to-peer and this builds a sense of community and safety.

University of Wisconsin-Extension educator Jenny Erickson challenged the group with presentations on Emotional Intelligence and invited them to reflect on their personal leadership philosophy. For more information, call 608-355-3250.

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