管理摘要

How to Be a Leader

2018/06/02

From the Stanford Technology Leadership Program

 

It has been approximately three months since I have graduated from the Stanford Technology Leadership Program (STLP), a nine month intensive curriculum designed to support individual growth and development of the Stanford University IT community. The purpose of the program is to teach its participants how to work more effectively across organizations to deliver information technology to the greater Stanford community. The lessons learned from STLP are transferable to anyone with the desire to practice leadership.

 

Here are 5 lessons I learned that are now my personal mantras:

 

Lesson 1: Do you want to be right, or in a relationship?

 

Over-assertiveness about your ideas can lead to alienation with others. The lesson is that, through self-regulation, you can avoid damaging your relationships by acknowledging others ideas, being inclusive to solving problems and making sure everybody has a voice.

Improve listening by letting other people finish their thoughts. Ask for clarification before weighing in.

Express gratitude.

Write a card, send an email, or thank somebody in person. Gratitude goes a long way.

Practice how to turn potential conflicts into a win-win situations.

Start with neutrally explaining your observations, use "I" language instead of accusatory "you" language, and demonstrate a safe space for others with your body language, tone and word choices.

 

Lesson 2: Show up - the lesson of intentionality

 

Many people assume intentionality is the same as being assertive or decisive. We learned that intentionality is different, even if it is somewhat related. It is a directedness toward something. In leadership, intentionality is persistent focus on a goal or initiative, one that has purpose and meaning for the enterprise. People experience an intentional leader as deliberate. They have a plan and everyone knows what they are doing and why.

 

Let's say you showed up to work and there is a new hire sitting at their desk looking lost and alone. This is an opportunity to initiate an introduction, schedule a lunch, and intentionally set up ways to integrate that new member into the team culture.

Dedicate time toward mindfulness. People with scattered schedules and little time to think through their work cannot be intentional. Those who find time to reflect on projects and priorities will find that they are practicing intentionality.

Keep lines of communication open, learn about issues, pay attention to thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Strategic and business alignment requires sustained effort.

 

Lesson 3: Relationships are the coin of the realm

 

We have a saying in STLP, "relationships are the coin of the realm". This espoused value comes directly from the Stanford culture; we are here to help each other. Need a hand with figuring out the Microsoft SQL versions for your nine servers? No problem, help is on the way. Have a question about how to practice your user experience skills? Not an issue, there will be people who come out of the woodwork to acquaint you to sites like www.upwork.com, and www.taproot.com where you can practice your UX skills and give back to the community.

 

As a leader, navigating and building relationships is crucial to your success and the success of the organization as a whole.

 

Set up lunches with people to genuinely get to know them and knowledge-share.

Pay special attention to what people say about themselves and their lives beyond work. Integrate questions about something they said in the past to show that you are genuinely interested in them.

Practice caring about others. The key to being a leader, according to the Harvard Business Review article "The Five Leadership Essentials", is empathy toward others. In STLP, we learn that we all want to feel valued and understood.

 

Lesson 4: Be a mentor; challenge others to better their lives

 

At first, I struggled with being a mentor. I didn't quite know how to lead a conversation in a way that provided value to the person who was inquiring about how to handle an issue. I learned quickly however, that the key to mentorship is to focus on the relationship. Become invested in the growth of the other person. The mark of a great leader is that they grow others, not just themselves.

 

Ask the mentee questions more than your frequency of offering advice. Questions like "how will this goal be achievable?", and "what support do you have to achieve your goal?", and "if you were in this conflict situation again, how would you have handed yourself differently?" are all examples of the open-ended questions you should be asking your mentee. Have them tell you what their best path is.

 

Lesson 5: Always be selling.

 

You are your own brand. Every interaction you have with others furthers the brand you have, whether you like it or not. Leaders are keenly aware of how they present themselves to others and if they are a good leader, will self-regulate to facilitate positive interactions with others.

 

Show up on time

Be polished and poised

Try to contribute value to every conversation

Be aware of what your body language is telling others

Understand your influence style and build your "brand strategy" towards maximizing your influence potential

 

STLP taught me how to practice being a leader.

With practice and intention, you can be a leader too.

 

Written by Jacqueline Holland

Project Manager,Evaluation and Research at Stanford University


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