Dusty Luthy


Library clerk at McCracken County Public Library

Associate minister, New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Age: 34

Education: Bachelor's degree in journalism, minor in rural sociology, University of Missouri; master's of divinity, Memphis Theological Seminary.

Some of Luthy's professional accomplishments include:

n Library clerk, McCracken County Public Library, Oct. 2013 to present.

n Associate minister, New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Jan. 2020 to present.

n Sports writer, The Paducah Sun, June 2007 to Oct. 2013.

A few of the organizations she has been involved in:

n Vice president of student senate - Memphis Theological Seminary, 2019-2020.

n Planning team coordinator of Room In The Inn (homeless shelter ministry) at Memphis Theological Seminary.

n Clinical practicum chaplain internship at Shelby County (Tenn.) Detention Center.

What is the biggest challenge for a young leader in today's workplace?

Working in an organization that doesn't have a succession plan in place is dangerous for the sustainability of young leaders. When those already in leadership or authority positions hoard responsibility, knowledge, and resources, a workplace is strangled, and an atmosphere of communion and trust is non-existent. Younger leaders are then unable to cultivate the skills they need to elevate their positions or strengthen their abilities and become stagnant assets for an organization. I recently heard a leader of a large company tell his department heads as he encouraged them to keep training their subordinates, "Sharing the wealth doesn't make us poor. It makes us all more wealthy." When an organization spreads responsibility, and invests in the education of its employees, the skills and resources an employee naturally brings to the workplace are heightened, and the organization can thrive. When all employees are interconnected in the message and responsibilities of an organization, the absence of an employee (due to sickness, loss of job, or even vacation) doesn't hinder productivity. Rather sharing the knowledge it takes to perform solidly in any position, no matter the hierarchical level, can promote self-care, positive employee-employer relations, as well as increased community involvement and investment.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

Every leader should possess the characteristic of humility. The minute we begin to think the universe revolves around us is the minute we lose our authority to lead. We are all replaceable; and should strive to lead as interims preparing the way for the next individual or group of leaders to rise up. Leadership is about the people around us, the goal(s) we all hope to achieve, and the process by which we all arrive at the fulfillment of this goal. Humility tells us we are simply in place to empower others to do work, effect change, and promote harmony.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

I just completed an intensive master's degree program, and in that curriculum was lots of opportunity built in for leadership development. I'm staying open to future educational opportunities for continued enrichment, but at this stage in my life, I'm simply trying to pause and listen. I'm trying to listen to the voices that have more experience in my career fields and interests. I'm trying to listen to the voices of my peers. I'm trying to listen to those who are oppressed and marginalized in society to better determine how we all can meet the needs of the "least of these." I'm trying to listen to myself to better understand the gifts and skills I possess, as well as those in which I am deficient. As a person of faith, I continue to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit, and the direction it may lead.

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