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Leadership Part 2

Last year was a year of tremendous growth, and I did a lot of reflection. This is long and you may not agree with it all, but this is what came to me. (I’m always thinking and reflective of my day. This is long, but it’s just how I’m feeling).

My thoughts on Leadership:

I’ve learned that words matter.

I’ve learned that as a leader I can’t always say what’s on my mind. I’m learning to ask these questions: Is it helpful? Is it necessary? Is it a universal truth? Will it matter tomorrow? If it is or isn’t, does it really need to be said?

I’ve learned I’m not always privy to the freedoms I fight for.

I’ve learned that Freedom of Speech doesn’t entirely extend to me. I am bound by regulations, instructions and policies that dictate otherwise-and often for good reason.

I’ve learned that I’m an ambassador whether I want to be or not. What I say can be taken as the views of an entire organization and I don’t speak on behalf of anyone but me. We all have a different story and different beliefs under the same org structure.

I’ve learned that everything I think or believe, doesn’t have to be said. I have to choose my words wisely because I can’t take them back.

I’ve learned that my social media is not my own. Everything I post can be screenshot or shared in an instant.

I’ve learned that my posts can have either a positive or negative impact on those I lead, so I choose the former. Positivity wins!

I’ve learned that my messages can have unintended consequences if used recklessly. Those who I’m in charge of leading may lose faith in my ability to lead fairly and objectively, and those above me may lose trust in my ability to do the same.

I’ve learned that as a leader my views may offend some, and in a leadership position it is my responsibility to keep that margin small. I cannot be effective if those who I lead don’t believe I care about them. So I refer to the questions stated above. Is it...?

I’ve learned that everyone’s experience is not my own. If I can’t sympathize, I must try to empathize. Just because my experience is different, doesn’t mean theirs isn’t a reality. It is my responsibility to get to know the people I lead, where they come from, what affects them, and try to imagine myself walking a day in their shoes so that I know how to help, heal, inspire, motivate, and develop them into good leaders despite their circumstances.