It's been a couple of weeks since we were all together in Bloomington and my how the time has flown by. Having had some time to digest all that we shared and learned, I still have a sense of inspiration and motivation that I hope will continue to carry on into the coming months. I sincerely hope that you all feel the same way.
Leadership Participant's blog
When discussing leadership we tend to focus on good leadership practices. While this is important, I personally have learned a lot over the years by observing bad leadership practices which I then actively avoid. The recent MOR Tuesday Readings on asking questions made me remember one of these examples of bad leadership, which I call: “Questioning Questioning.”
I have come to enjoy and value the weekly reflections as well as Jim Bruce’s Tuesday readings. A few weeks ago in the Tuesday reading, Be Still, I was struck by the truth and simplicity of what was written in that piece. I thought to myself, why not use “being still” as the foundation for everything that is big or important, (or trivial for that matter) in order to contemplate the next step. After all, don’t we often do this in many other areas of our lives? I do it when I need to have an important conversation with a family member, before deciding whether to spend thousands of dollars
I thought this would get easier as time went on, but had been feeling the opposite. When I got back from Session 1, I was jazzed. Before my flight back to CT, I wrote my boss a genuine note of thanks for the opportunity to participate in the MOR program and told her about the new tools and techniques I was excited to try when I got back. I was going to be aware of my leading/managing/doing ratios, use defensive calendaring, think more strategically, be intentional, as well as ask for and provide feedback.
As I reflected on what has transpired over the past several weeks, I wanted to revisit the essay that I had prepared in hopes of being selected for this wonderful leadership opportunity. Here is my original objective from that essay:
“My ultimate objective is to improve the impact of my team on the customers they serve. To accomplish this, I want to invest in my team and motivate them with a strategic plan they align with and support that enables their success. The result will hopefully result in an evolution of my team to deliver high quality service.”
One of the things that I have been working on since our session in February is using the three lenses - strategic, political, and cultural - to get a multidimensional perspective on changes and projects which I am leading at the School of Music, Theater, and Dance (SMTD). As I think about perspective in this way and the work I’ve been doing in the past six months, I notice a related theme… inside and outside perspective.
I have read the pages in our binders on Neuroscience and Leadership many times in the last few months. It comforts me to know why it's so difficult to change my old habits. On some level I realize that making changes to behaviors will cause a certain amount of pain or unpleasant feeling. My instinct is to stay in my comfort zone and try not to leave it. However, the cost of staying there is missing out on ideas, opportunities, and new relationships.