After graduation in August I was armed with a binder full of new ideas, concepts, practices and formulas on how to be an effective leader. I found it easy to be intentional during the program which was fueled by my own enthusiasm and frequent and very useful check-ins from my coaches. New actions and practices became part of my routine and clearly validated what we had learned during our sessions together. I was feeling good and well on my way to being a more effective leader! Transformed and my mission accomplished!!
At the end of October, I returned to my alma mater, Earlham College, for homecoming festivities, Alumni Council meetings, and related events. What really struck me about the extended weekend was how the theme of “connections” was constantly evident.
I am constantly looking for new leadership lessons. When I am a student or trainee, I observe how the instructor structures the class, presents information, and keeps the room engaged. As a sports fan, I pay attention to how a coach organizes the team, creates energy toward a shared goal, and adapts to change. Over the last year, I have had one of the richest opportunities as my wife and I began raising our first child, Winnie, who recently turned one.
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. – Epictetus, Greek philosopher, ~ 100 AD
A Leadership Reflection
Last week I attended two retirement parties. As I reflected about them afterwards, there were a few key points that they made during their speeches that I would like to share with the group.
Trust is so important. Establishing an environment of trust-based relationships encourages creativity, self initiative, and incredible productivity fostered by a safe culture without fear or politics. When you trust, you are motivated by a desire to help others and advance the cause without imposing your own agenda.
I would like to share my personal reflective journey to date, from the beginning. I was invited to attend the MOR Advanced Leadership Program by my CIO at the beginning of the summer. As one of the newest members of the OIT management/leadership team I immediately had two scenarios go through my mind.
We all attend too many meetings. Some are initiated by others and we attend to contribute. And some are our meetings, designed to further our team’s work. Some of them are productive and some are not. And, everyone I’ve talked to yearns for fewer of them.
I’ve attempted to maintain and effectively use a To Do list for much of my professional life. At the moment, I have an application (Things) on my laptop, my iPhone, and my iPad that keeps the list synchronized. This is really helpful, and would be even more helpful if I was good at keeping the list itself up to date. At the moment, it’s a combination of To Dos for near-term future tasks and an embarrassing list of accumulated items that are important but I’ve not yet scheduled myself to do them.
July 1, 2013 was the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. In the course of that three-day battle, the armies of the North and South deployed some 180,000 troops on the field of battle and suffered some 51,000 casualties and the course of American history was forever changed.
Our Tuesday Reading today is drawn from Robert Steven Kaplan’s new book, What You Really Need to Lead. Kaplan was recently named President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Previously he was the Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice and a Senior Associate Dean at the Harvard Business School.