Great Conversations: Leadership

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Synthesis Solutions is proud to announce that we have just completed our first in an ongoing series of LinkedIn conversations on leadership. This initial discussion was based on The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership from the book The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner.

Our 88 participants in this great conversation represent business owners, HR professionals, military officers, educators and others who shared their valuable personal experiences and insights into this important and multi-faceted subject. The discussion accounts for over 200 exchanges of ideas.

To our contributors, I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for being a part of this discussion and for allowing us to publish your comments for the benefit of our Synergies Blog/Bulletin Series readers. I hope that you will all continue to be part of the series as we continue to launch new discussions on Leadership and on other important business topics.

Please read what some of our contributors have to say about these 5 Leadership Practices:

Leaders Model the Way, Roger Crockett, Thought leadership advisor, Business Leadership writer, former deputy Bureau Chief, Business Week Magazine: Caring and connecting with those I lead >>Read Roger’s comment

Leaders Inspire a Shared Vision, Kenneth Larson, Retired Aerospace Contracts Manager, MicroMentor Volunteer and Founder, Smalltofeds: A legacy of guidance >>Read Kenneth’s Comment

Leaders Challenge the Process Will Niekirk, MBA, UK/US Liaison – British Defense Staff, Washington, DC: Sometimes subordinates exercise leadership by steering change through persuasion, teamwork and the sharing of good ideas >>Read Will’s Comment

Leaders Enable Others to Act, Natasha Fowler, A Time To Talk Counseling : A good leader influenced me to take action and was fully the person I’d been inspired to be >>Read Natasha’s Comment

Leaders Encourage the Heart, Andrew Schraf, Head of WCW Group: Since each one of us has the power to change our small corner of the world, each of us in our own ways has the ability to reshape the people we come in contact. Now what are you waiting for? >>Read Andrew’s Comment

What We Learned From Our Colleagues

In reading these very insightful and inspiring posts several common leadership traits and practices emerge, most notably that good leaders:

  • are truly empathetic
  • have credibility
  • have the ability to connect with diverse personality types
  • are also accountable for their actions
  • are remembered by those they inspire to take action and achieve their true potential

To varying degrees these traits come naturally to good leaders. However, those who work at honing these skills day in and day out, in their professional and personal lives, become truly inspiring and memorable leaders.

I’d also like to weigh in on this discussion by saying that working to improve my leadership skills over the past 35 years continues to be a work in progress. On this journey I’ve learned that exhibiting the following are extremely important as a leader:

  • Be consistent and predictable (no surprise behavior) and team members will be more comfortable, forthcoming and engaged
  • Be fair, it’s important that the team know how your ethics and values guide your judgment
  • Walk the talk
  • Be a sincere and careful listener, and give constructive feedback
  • Share the vision
  • Be passionate and supportive of team goals
  • Believe in and trust your people
  • Help each team member believe in the value of the goals and of their individual contributions to achieving those goals
  • Be confident and build confidence

I can’t think of a better way to end this post on an inspiring note than to repeat Andrew Schraf’s quote from above,

“Since each one of us has the power to change our small corner of the world, each of us in our own ways has the ability to reshape the people we come in contact. Now what are you waiting for?”

To be notified of our forthcoming Great Conversations: Innovation and all future Great Conversations, please provide your full name and preferred e-mail address. This information will be held in strictest confidence and not sold to nor shared with any third parties.

Click here to sign up for The Great Conversations Series, published by Synthesis Solutions LLC through its Synergies Blog/Bulletin


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