Monday, December 7, 2015

Leadership Advice

Day 1 of a New Director's Program at the CSPS and I wanted to note some great advice a guest Exec shared with us today:

1. Resist the temptation to do it yourself:  I find this one hard to do because it's often easier to just do it myself, plus it's done to my standard.  However, my role is to DIRECT now.  I cannot do and manager.  Doing it myself is a missed opportunity to let someone else grow.

2. Plan:  easier said than done.  Think it through to completion, determine your resource requirements, always have a Plan B.

3. Anticipate Risks:  the ubiquitous "what should we be worried about?" rarely gets asked, but should guide our actions

4. Articulate Vision:  communicate your division's value and relevance to the organization; practice it; say it in front of your employees.  I do this a little bit, but need to do it more.

5. Look for ways to improve:  this exec devotes 20% of her day thinking of how her org can do things better; wow

6. Stay calm:  I really need to work on this because I can see the effect of my emotional stressing out on other people; the captain should always have her shit together

7. Look for multiple wins:  ask yourself "what else could I achieve at the same time?"  I think I intuitively do this because I am a business student at heart

8. Set a good example: more leaders need to do this

9. Get to know your staff as people (likes, dislikes, etc.):  one of my strengths

10. Get to know your colleagues as people too (what are they trying to achieve in their org?)

11. Seek feedback:  get in the practice of asking "how could I do that better?".  THIS I need to start trying with CP

12. No surprises with your managers, ever.  This is something I've learned in spades on my assignment.  A big part of my job is keeping my manager apprised of issues so that he doesn't hear them from someone else first.  I've learned how to anticipate his needs so that he's prepared for meetings.  It's not as hard as it seems.

13. Don't forget about personal development:  know yourself, be reflective, be open to feedback

14. Ask questions to challenge the status quo:  if you ask "why is it done this way?" you'll learn a lot about the organization

Some other tips on things this exec had wished she'd been told:

  • only shoot for perfection on stuff that matters
  • you don't have to do everything assigned to you --> best to check with your manager to see if still a priority
  • you are not alone
  • use your network
  • get a coach
  • be kind to yourself
  • take regular holidays

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