After interviewing Dr. Marianne Barrett, my thesis director and Cronkite’s Associate Dean, and Jill Johnson, Barrett, The Honor’s College’s Downtown Phoenix Senior Advisor, as well as reviewed other media, I’ve pin pointed four important skills I like to use in personal leadership style.
1. Keep your constituents passionate and motivated. Anyway you swing it, employing and maintaining employees who are working for you “because they want to” and not just because they have to or because you’re making them, creates the ideal working environment (Tracy, 2010). In general, people who are encouraged and happy about their job will not only work harder and smarter, but they’ll also produce far superior content than done by a rundown and careless employee.
2. Lead by example, especially when bad things happen and you need to stay strong. When you lead by example, not only are you challenging yourself to work at your peak, but you’re also challenging your followers to work at their peak. As a follower, judgments and work ethic are directly related to the decisions and styles of the leader, especially when things go wrong. Author Brian Tracy suggests a very important skill, “one of the keys to calmness and mental clarity is to refuse to spend a single second worrying or becoming angry about something that you cannot change” (Tracy, 2010).
3. Be mindful of your physical movements and characteristics. From my senior thesis, “Trust me. I’m ‘fill in the blank here,’” I learned about the impact physical characteristics have on first impressions. Of all the garnered facts in my literature review, one struck me the hardest and proved to be true in my experiment: “A key study (Willis, & Todorov, 2006) found that 100 milliseconds, or a tenth of a second, is enough time for a person to make accurate judgments of another person’s trustworthiness, likability, competence, attractiveness and aggressiveness” (Timm, 2011). Especially in the journalism field, these are important traits to master. Regardless of the situation at hand or any impeding decision deadlines, it’s important to stay calm and collected. Establishing and maintaining a calm attitude shows and tells your employees and clients that you are still in control of the situation and it can and will be handled effectively.
4. Lead by being led to build trust, and admit to faults when you’re wrong. Leaders need to know their faults and admit them when needed. Warren Bennis writes, “leaders never lie to themselves, especially about themselves, know their faults as well as their assets, and deal with them directly” (Bennis, 2003). The ability to stand firm in your own decisions is an important one for a leader, however, there are times when leaders need to learn from their constituents, too; often lending the team to a stronger sense of trust and unification.
Bennis, W. (2003). On becoming a leader. Warren Bennis Inc.
Timm, E. (2011). Trust me. i’m ‘fill in the blank here.’. Phoenix, AZ: Barrett Honors College Press.
Tracy, B. (2010). How the best leaders lead: Proven secrets to getting the most out of yourself and others. New York, NY: American Management Association.
Willis, Janine, & Todorov, Alexander. (2006). First impressions: making up your mind after a 100‐ms exposure to a face. Psychological Science, 17(7), 592‐598.
Like to read? I think we all do, so it’s funny I never thought to introduce these sites before!
Many of you have heard of Gangplank out of Chandler and all the great things they have to offer entrepreneurs and all around hard working people. Gangplank’s main man, Derek Neighbors, has his own blog and posts a book review every Sunday.
His posts are relatively concise and get you to the core principles of the book asap. His most recent post from yesterday highlights a book called “How to Change the World,” by Jurgen Appelo.
Every so often, he throws in a thought piece, too, relating to current economy conditions or other noteworthy principles floating around newsfeeds.
Another great place to get recommendations and keep track of your own book list is goodreads.com. Goodreads allows you to record the books you’ve read, rate them, and write brief descriptions of your thoughts on the book. It also recommends books for you to read and lets you create a list of books you want to read in the future.
I’ve just started using it, and so far it’s very compelling! I still haven’t decided this year’s book reading goal… maybe 20 books? Shooting low. Although I have to say it’s tempting to add a hundred books to your to-read list. If you’re on goodreads, share books with me!
Mashable (one of my all time favorite blogs/sites to follow) published a great video segment with Guy Kawasaki today on their Behind the Brand channel.
In this case, Mashable is going Behind the Brand of Kawasaki’s new book, Enchantment.
In the video and in Bryan Elliott’s mockup of the book, he highlights my favorite quote in Kawasaki’s interview. Kawasaki says, “You have to gain people’s hearts, minds and actions.”
When you’re presenting any type of innovation or idea, the most important thing is to “enchant,” as Kawasaki says, your listeners and investors into trusting and buying into your idea and/or plan.
In Kawasaki’s interview, and in his book, he describes how to connect personally with people in order to show them your passion. Your palpable passion increases your trustworthiness, and, ultimately, your personality as a whole.
In other words, people are more likely to invest in others they believe in personally, not just by the numbers.
I also liked his last comments about good ideas vs. implementation. Good things take time; remember that! As young adults, we’re so used to fast paced workflows and having things at our finger tips. As an entrepreneur, though, Kawasaki says you need to be patient and you need to be ready to haul out until the end!
If I hadn’t already done my book report, I would’ve read this book! Even still, I think I may invest in it this summer.
Kawasaki has written a couple other books, has anyone had the opportunity to enjoy any of them?
This morning I had the opportunity to attend an event by Vibrant Phoenix in Chandler.
The MC was Derek Neighbors, a blogger I (ironically) started following on my Google Reader about eight months ago to find story ideas for Cronkite Newswatch. He supports and hosts many of these Vibrant Phoenix events and I’m sure will blog about today’s very soon.
Anyway, there was an event this morning, hosted by Gangplank, and Retha Hill, Director at the Gannett New Media Innovation Lab at the Cronkite School, invited me to go.
We had a great time speaking about how to connect governments and communities in a way that encourages growth and expansion of cities. For governments this means filling vacant lots, recruiting people to work in the vacant lots and then creating a strategy that will sustain the growth of these lots, their employers and otherwise. For citizens and workers, this means creating a community with a slew of “essential” qualities chosen by said government – like education, entertainment, opportunity, etc.
One of the most interesting discussions we had today regards a significant lifestyle change I see in our future. Many of the generations before me have grown up with a very structured work life – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays on most occasions. With the evolution of social media and the walls of office space essentially disappearing, this structured lifestyle is fading.
I participated in a breakout session related to this topic and (as one of two people associated with the 25 and under crowd) took the chance to explain the idea of a 24/7 workday. Because of our level of connectedness (oh my gosh that’s a real word), we rarely “turn off.” So, we younger generations on this 24/7-like cycle take breaks for breakfast, lunch, dinner and sleeping as needed, instead of a massive break in the middle. In the midst of work, we talk to our friends, family and coworkers all at the same time (i.e. I don’t need to wait until I’m out of work at 5 p.m. to call my friend because that was work time. Now I will text her throughout the day or email her – you get the idea).
An older woman in the group prompted a good question. She said, well that’s good and all but what happens in five years when you want children and a family? How does the 24/7 work cycle work then?
This is a good point, however it was clear to me how differently we see our daily schedules. In her mind, a 24/7 cycle means she never stops; in my mind I see a 24/7 cycle as the opportunity to choose when I can and/or want to stop. If I need to go to my kid’s baseball game at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, I’ll take the break from work knowing I can 1. work after the game as needed and 2. take calls, emails, etc. from my phone/laptop/ipad during the game if necessary. Where she felt the cycle was too much pressure, I feel the cycle actually creates much more room.
The consequential topic discussed the idea of trust in this type of work environment. Creating a work cycle that is so limber, where employees are more free to make decisions as to where their daily priorities lie, hinges on the responsibility of the employee – can he/she schedule time effectively and still get the work done?
So, what do you think? Do you think we’re slowly maneuvering into a more freely scheduled work environment as a young generation? Or do you feel the corporate work week will still be a concrete concept when our kids graduate from college? Which one do you feel is more effective? Which one do you prefer?
I’m interested to hear feedback. It’s an incredibly transitional concept; but it’s one I believe has already begun to transpire.
Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, written by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., takes the notions of one’s mindset and twists it into the driving force behind success. As the book describes, this is success in regards to parenting, business, school, sports and relationships—romantic, personal and professional. Through years of research, Dweck has broken down and studied the phases and power of one’s mindset, and the outcomes of each one’s success. Her results, in conjunction with her own personal experience and interviews with well-known professionals, are both motivational and influential, and can change any day’s work into a great one by simply changing your mindset.
Dweck drives one idea harder than any other: failure doesn’t have to be the end. No matter your mindset, there is always room for improvement. Your abilities, intelligence and knowledge do not have a limit, but are always expandable. She writes, the best of us “look failures in the face, even their own, while maintaining faith that they would succeed in the end” (Dweck, Pg. 110).
“a fixed-mindset … asking them to fit the mold of the brilliant, talented, child or be deemed unworthy. [...]
“growth-minded ideals … giving them something they can strive for. … giving their children growing room.” (Pg. 192 & 193)
“I hate using the first person. Nearly everything I’ve done in my life has been accomplished with other people.” – Jack Welch, GE
“After every game or practice, if you walk off the field knowing that you gave everything you hand, you will always be a winner.” -Mia Hamm, USA Soccer
- Relationships (Romantic, Personal & Professional):
“A no-effort relationship is a doomed realtionship. … It takes work to communicate accurately and it takes work to expose and resolve conflicting hopes and beliefs. … ‘they worked happily ever after.’” (Pg. 152)
Dweck, C. S. P. D. (2006). Mindset. New York: Random House, Inc.
(If the embed video does not show up here, please click the link above to watch the video.)
This TED talk, “Matthieu Ricard on the habits of happiness,” is given by Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk, author and photographer from the Himalayas. In his bio, people have called him the “happiest man in the world.”
His talks hits on a lot of points I will be presenting next week for my leadership book, Mindset, by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
He speaks about the contrast between your mind’s control over good and evil, anger and happiness, familiarity and reality, love and kindness (and you can watch it with subtitles in 31 languages!).
Can you change your happiness simply by changing the habits of your mind’s thought process?
Ricard says yes, so does Mindset, and so do I.
The past couple days I’ve challenged myself to embrace the thoughts of Ricard and those presented in Mindset, and (honestly) I’ve seen the difference, and not just in my own thoughts and actions but the thoughts and actions of the friends, family and people around me.
I’d encourage everyone to watch this video and try it this week, then tell me how it worked for you.
For those familiar with TED talks, do you have a favorite?
I follow a great blog called, Start Up Professionals.com. The content focuses on start up businesses and the entrepreneurs behind the magic.
A couple days ago, one of the contributing authors, Marty Zwilling, published an article about leadership mistakes. The article revolves around ideas from a great book, Table for Three, by Darryl Rossen (does anyone still need a leadership book?!).
The article, “7 Dumb Leadership Mistakes Smart Managers Avoid,” lists these 7 no-nos from the book:
- Blame others for everything.
- Worry and fret about everything.
- Criticize others and the company.
- Complain about being overwhelmed.
- Do 10 things at a time in a mediocre fashion.
- Appear disorganized and manage things haphazardly.
- Fail to see the positives in others. (Zwilling, 2012)
I’d encourage you to read the explinations for the above no-nos because I’ll only address one here that stood out to me among the rest.
“4. Complain about being overwhelmed. Overwhelm is a feeling that always precedes growth, and is a state in which your brain is developing new pathways and connections. Starting a business or a new organization will always cause self-doubt and insecurity. Real leaders embrace and manage these feelings, rather than complain to associates.” (Zwilling, 2012)
Focus on the first sentence: “Overwhelm is a feeling that always precedes growth.”
First, doesn’t that make you feel better about being overwhelmed? Second, this hits the nail so hard on the head. It is so easy to complain to coworkers, spouses, friends, family, etc. when you’re stressed and overwhelmed at work. It’s a way to get your stress and fears out in the open for consolidation and advice.
As a leader, though, you need to be extra careful about complaining in front of your coworkers or the people working for you; good chance they’re working just as hard as you, and they don’t need you to remind them.
Instead, as the article explains, “embrace and manage,” your stresses and fears. The more confident you are in your work and the future of the company, the more confident and efficient your staff will be, too.
Zwilling, M. (2012). 7 dumb leadership mistakes smart managers avoid. Startup Professionals, Retrieved from http://blog.startupprofessionals.com/2012/02/7-dumb-leadership-mistakes-smart.html
Listening to Stephen Buckley on Monday, no doubt, was a treat for all of us. Even though I’m not planning to work in news after graduation, his thoughts on leadership were truly inspiring – especially after Taati’s presentation (also great)!
I’ve had the privilege and honor to lead others many times in my life. As both a leader and a follower I’m always looking for ways to create better relationships and smoother work environments.
There was one thing Buckley said that really made an impact:
“My job is to find out what motivates you and play to that,” he said.
This is some of the best advice I’ve heard yet. Like Stephen said, a leader’s job is to encourage the people around him or her to be better and/or perform at his or her best. What better way to encourage than to play to people’s motivation?! It’s funny that it seems like such a natural idea, but I’d never thought of it before.
I’m excited to present Radio with my group on Monday! Have a great week all!
Creating an international business venture, as outlined in not only our reading but also by Lejla Kapertanovic’s presentation, is a job for the strong minded, long-term thinking and powerfully agile leader.
On the other hand, this “Organizational Behavior” reading clearly outlines the needed balance businessmen and women need in the workplace. Although taking the CEO, CFO, whatever hat off would not be recommended, complimenting your ego with a humble trainee hat is equally advised.
On page 50, the authors write:
“…establishing and successfully operating a joint venture in [foreign countries] will require a great deal of learning and patience. In these and other international settings, political risks and bureaucratic difficulties further complicated the already difficult process of working across cultural boundaries.”
America and western society often create breading grounds for business owners’ prides and egos. Choosing to take an inflated power trip across seas and into foreign business plans takes up too much space, often leaving none for a team of encouraged and motivated people willing to make careful room for crisis plans, error, changing situations and cultural development.
Sticking to the hat metaphor, if you will, this would be like a businessman not only choosing to wear his giant, American-CEO hat to Nigeria, but also pulling it over his eyes, ears, nose and mouth when the plane lands. How can you communicate when you’re blinded, deafened, descented and dumbed? Especially when your giant hat means nothing to the people you’re trying to connect with?
A quote from one of my favorite books, The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis, comes to mind here:
“Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). […] It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share a vision.” (Page 268-269)
In order to establish a plentiful and sturdy foundation of trust with your new foreign business leaders, you need to be able to understand each other. All parties need to stoop down to a level shared by both trainee and CEO, and then build upon the connection in order to promote the business’ status. This way, businessmen and women share the tediousness of naivety of planning, but all ideas are accepted and heard; businessmen and women endure the agony of starting slow but together embrace the speed of growth; and businessmen and women initially wonder at their unlike hats but eventually know and love the qualities and productions of each.
(On page 52 there’s a great real world example made from the International Orientation Resources, a Chicago-based company, that describes the imperative moves one should take in order to prepare and learn from new neighbors, business or otherwise.)
Schermerhorn, Jr., J. R., Hunt, J. G., & Osborn, R. N. Organizational behavior. (7 ed., pp. 50-52). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Lewis, C. S. (1960). The four loves. (pp. 268-269). New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
Hello, it’s so great to run into you.
My name is Emily Timm.
I have a range of experience in media and public relations and I think we have a lot to offer each other. My strengths are in writing and oral communication, and mobile and web marketing.
Here’s one of my business cards. You’ll find the URL to my website, too – emilytimm.com – to see my past work. I’d love to meet up with you soon, please email or call me.
Do you have a business card I could have?
Great, thank you. Have a wonderful day and I look forward to talking with you soon.