Leadership incorporates book skills, interpersonal skills, and a genuine interest in the people who work in the organization and the people whom the organization serves. Within the last 14 days, I have been in a total of 5 days of workshops and training; I have participated, co-facilitated, and facilitated on the topics leadership, mediation skills, diversity, and team building. I’ve had a road trip, challenging conversations, and celebrated. It’s been a busy and productive time. I reflect and offer these observations —ten gold pieces of leadership.
10 Gold Pieces of Leadership
- Be open to help. We succeed when others contribute their efforts. We need mentors, teachers, supporters, and coaches and we need to assume these roles when its our time to pour into others. I had chances to be on the giving and receiving end of help.
- Offer opportunities. Offer as many opportunities as possible for others to contribute their talents in ways that matter to them and allows them to grow. Opportunities come with rewards and all rewards are not financial.
- Acknowledge the person who points out the elephants in the room. We must address the elephants in the room because left unaddressed they multiply and become an angry herd, and that’s not a pretty sight.
- Believe in possibilities. Speak success. There are enough gossips and naysayers in the organization. Leaders change the dialogue to talk about ideas that examine possibilities and promote positive outcomes.
- Apologize when appropriate. I accused a vendor of making an error. I learned within minutes, I made the mistake. Owning up with a sincere apology put the relationship back on track.
- Self-care. We have to rest and refuel. The weekend road-trip to Traverse City had the changing fall colors, sunshine, good marital conversations, and smooth jazz music. As the passenger, I had four naps during the four hour ride. I even had an introduction to heart coherence in one workshop.
- Show some love. Listen when other speak. When there’s a novice presenter send some good vibes her way, smile, and ask a question. Also send a few emails to say thanks to staff or to checkin on someone going through a rough patch.
- Reach beyond your comfort zone. Leaders grow and challenges offer growth opportunities.
- Invest time to develop skills. Study-Practice-Perform-Feedback-Feedforward. Repeat. This is our learning loop to gaining expertise. (Feedforward is what we take from the feedback and integrate into our study.)
- Celebrate others. I enjoy taking pictures of friends and colleagues and sharing their accomplishments on social media. It’s a small way to let them I see, hear, and appreciate them and what they do. These posts are often like by 100 or more of other friends and colleagues. It creates a virtual celebration. Like Zig Ziglar said, “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”
There are many valuable pieces to help us on our leadership journey. I’m grateful for the 10 pieces I mined during the last 14 days and for the opportunity to share them. I invite you to share and join the conversation.