by Marcia Dority Baker
[Today’s Tuesday Reading is from Marcia Dority Baker, Leadership Coach at MOR Associates. Marcia may be reached at email@example.com or via LinkedIn. Editorial Note: This is the last Tuesday Reading of 2022. The next Tuesday Reading will be in January. ]
“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change.” – Tim Cook
“I encourage you to continue the practices that are making a difference in your life, both professionally and personally. As we look ahead, please proactively add time to your calendar (defensive calendaring) to be strategic, to reflect, and to put in the time, to be a leader.” This is part of the email I sent to my coachees at the halfway point of their MOR Leaders program. We are also at the end of the semester and midway point of the academic year. Midway is a powerful place to stop and reflect. We can use it to review the progress made to date; what’s been working or the practices that have become habits. It is also a springboard for what’s next; a new goal, an opportunity to refocus on a practice or perhaps, it’s time to get serious about a change.
I appreciate the analogy of ripple effects. I can visualize throwing a rock into a pond, the ripples cascading across the surface to the furthest edges. While the size and force from throwing a rock can affect the size of the ripples, both a pebble and a boulder will each still cause a change to the pond. This is a practical reminder that no matter the size of the practice(s) we choose, there will be a ripple effect. The MOR Leaders program is approximately 10 months of time to not just learn to be a leader, but to practice becoming the leader we are evolving into. The role of leader does not solely reside in our professional lives, the practices we create also ripple into our personal lives.
At the end of the first workshop, I encourage attendees to draft talking points about their experience. This is 3-4 things that resonated with them and/or what practices they want to start. I suggest they write the talking points with three audiences in mind: their boss/manager, their team/colleagues, and their family. Among many possibilities, the MOR Leaders program offers the opportunity to enhance one’s presence, relationship building and improve communication skills. The practice and improvement of these skills can have a ripple effect outside of the workplace. To draft talking points for one’s boss enables one to think about what they have experienced and are focusing on as part of their leadership development. The talking points for one’s team or colleagues can help explain what the program is, a goal or practice one is focusing on, and provides accountability to do the work. As professionals, we tend to compartmentalize our lives into professional and personal; deciding what we will share and with whom. Don’t forget to write talking points for your family or immediate support group – they will be curious about the change(s) they see in you and those changes will impact them as well. Whether or not you are currently in a MOR program, this regular practice of reflection can both help you center yourself and uncover latent learning that may be occurring.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Teresa
One of the practices I started using as an IT leader that has had a ripple effect in my life is the Pluses and Deltas activity. While we use this in the MOR Leaders program to wrap up a workshop to receive the gift of feedback from participants, it is my “go-to” activity for readily gathering feedback. It is the first exercise I suggest when someone is stuck on making a decision. Identifying items in simple two columns can be the visual one needs. I know it’s had a ripple effect in my personal life as my daughter used the activity to help her decide about a job change earlier this year. I bet your family or immediate support group is watching you grow as a leader. What ripple effects have you seen in your life from participating in a MOR program?
|This Week’s Survey
What MOR practice has created the most ripples in your life?
|From Last Week
Last week we asked about your biggest takeaway on latent learning for both you and your team?