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Leadership is....

10/23/2019 6:44 PM | Anonymous

MDWA values leadership development, yet I would hazard to guess that there are as many definitions of "leadership" as there are people, surely with some commonalities.

What does "leadership" mean/look like to you? 

Your perspective and insights are wanted and valued.

-Joanna Thoms - WILD Co-Chair


  • 10/23/2019 10:10 PM | Anonymous
    I would agree that this is a age old topic! What are the skills you think of when you recall great leaders in your history? Listening & Empowering. What about those that weren't so great? Micro-managing
    I agree with Irene's comments that self-knowledge is critical to be able to lead others - the feedback I received from 360 type of program was invaluable in helping me to grow and further define my skills.
    I like concepts like the 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey.
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    • 10/24/2019 6:05 AM | Mary Ann Bazile (Administrator)
      I too, agree, Sandi, - Stephen Covey's 7 (now 8) Habits of Highly Effective People really helped me propel into strong leadership. The "Help me to Understand" question has served me well - meaning I try to seek to understand before any actions as well as his discussion on "emotional bank accounts..." This then ties in with Bob Chapman's(CEO of Barry-Wehmiller) philosophy in his book "Everybody Matters" wherein he sets forth the tenet that leaders need to care for their people like family...I believe in people and helping to get people into positions they want and are "wired for", in other words to help people grow their passion. I also still believe leaders need to be "guides on the side" instead of the main event (sage on the stage) lead but to also be a resource to other leaders - "what do you need to be successful" and let people fail at times - but be sure you have Plan B to back up the failure.
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  • 10/24/2019 8:19 AM | Anonymous
    When I was at Kimberly-Clark, I was privileged to attend a week-long Leadership Development Program (LDP) from Center for Creative Leadership--many years ago! But it was SOOO impactful! The course/workshop was FULL of survey instruments that helped us to get to know ourselves, including full 360 degree feedback. In fact, most of the workshop was about a deep level of self-awareness, because in order to influence others, be a change agent, and make an impact, you first need to understand your own strengths and weaknesses. We had an in-depth Myers-Briggs assessment, 360 feedback on how we behave and deliver, and even an assessment on how we engage with others (do we wait to be invited in or do we jump in without being asked?). We even had a 1:1 session with a psychologist to discuss all the feedback and what it meant--really a full week of exploring leadership.

    The other parts of the LDP experience dealt with organizations, family, and community--all aspects of leading. i thought it was an excellent reminder that leading is about much more than work! unfortunately very little time was spent on community--maybe 2 hours?--with us all admitting we didn't have time to contribute, so financial donations were a proxy for contributing our leadership skills.
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    • 10/24/2019 8:29 AM | Anonymous
      a few more thoughts: again, the LDP course was very focused on those who were organizational leaders, mostly from the military (all military generals went through the course) and corporations, so there was a heavy emphasis on leading others. But I believe that there is also "Personal Leadership" for those who do not have line authority. I love the topic of "influencing without authority" which is what i must do all the time as a volunteer. In board meetings and committee meetings (where I am not chairing), how do we lead? what are the skills and knowledge--and BEHAVIORS--needed to have influence and lead the group to achieve the mission? Since I am sometimes still the only woman in the room, i have learned to make my voice heard among the men, and to be persuasive. Not easy but then I've been working on this for almost 40 years!
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