A Leadership Experience

This past week, I had the privilege of watching a group of leadership program candidates graduate from their experience.  As a Board Member for a local trade association, I was there as this program is a Board sponsored program. 

There were some important lessons that I took away from this dinner, aside from the fact the dinner, was AWESOME!  All of these lessons are more “duh” moments when you sit back and think about it, however, they definitely served as reminders that you have to take the time to get  back to the basics from time to time as leader.

1. Leadership is a journey, not a destination
2. Each person has their individual spin they put on leadership
3. Have a dream; develop a plan; execute on your strategy
4. No two leaders execute in the same manner, nor are their experiences the same
5. Just because leadership styles are different, doesn’t mean one is more right than another
6. If you are learning in a homogeneous environment, you lose diversity in thought and experiences
7. Successful leaders are always networking and exchanging ideas
8. Leaders must be open to differing perspectives and allow results to happen as a consequence of execution
9. Leadership is not about the leader
10. Leaders must take the time to “smell the roses” and celebrate the success of their teams and organizations
11. Leaders need to be facilitators for growth and development, not managers of activities
12. Leaders don’t need to be the smartest person in the room, but they need to have vision and effective communication skills

These 2013 graduates of The Austin Contact Center Association Service Leadership Academy did a great job in their journey.  Several of the graduates are already on their way to successful adventures inside their organizations, but also outside of their organization.  I don’t think that they realize how much they taught this member of the audience.  I hope they do now.

Have a great week!

Why Connect?

Often times people will say, “I don’t want all my business being out there in social media land.  If I want to talk to someone, I will just call them or email them.”

That is a great idea, however…  Think about how many people in the course of your professional career and personal life that you have connected with.  Hundreds?  Thousands?  Tens of thousands?  Each person that you had an interaction with has helped shape who you are today.  The important item to remember, is you never know when you will cross paths with those individuals again.  Why not take the time to keep in contact with someone from your past?

Last month, as part of my membership in a local trade organization, we had a speaker at our monthly luncheon that presented a program called the ABC’s of networking.  Always Be Connecting is the way I remember because he told a story that was very personal to his family about how having connections literally saved his daughters life.  Without going into details, the power of having resources to draw on throughout your life is invaluable.

Some social media sites allow users to solicit or provide recommendations from their connections.  Other social media sites allow users to become connected to others with similar hobby interests.  These connections are able to help tell the story about YOU. 

Over my career, I have been asked to endorse others for jobs they applied for.  I have also been asked to refer job seekers to potential employers and recruiters.  It is a lot easier to refer people and provide endorsements for those where connections have been maintained.

Social media is difficult for some to embrace because it requires you to put yourself out there for others to interpret.  If you use social media intelligently, you can enhance connections to acquaintances, long lost friends, and potential employers.

Social media is a tool to write your story.  Use it write your truth, not your fiction.  Accept feedback from others, regardless of how critical it may be.  Be positive!  Remember, when you are out there, you are out there for all to see!

Have a great rest of the week!