Tonight, I shared my leadership advantage with participants in my Leadership Brand masterclass. Three advantages to be specific. A retired colonel. An entrepreneur and community advocate. A non-profit executive. Women who mentored me throughout my career. While I knew their stories, I’d never dedicated time to truly talk about leadership–let alone have them talk together. It was a bit like an episode of “This is Your Life,” the leadership edition.
Before tonight, I learned through their words backed by action. I learned through their direct, thoughtful feedback. I learned through choices. I learned through the opportunities they shared with me. I learned through what they tolerated and didn’t. I learned through their successes. I learned through their hard questions. I learned through their support.
Tonight, I continued to learn. Here are few of their “golden acorns” on leadership that really hit home:
- “Make hard decisions.”
- “Know yourself. Not just today but who you want to be. If you know who you want to be you can create a plan and take action to get there.”
- In terms of how to prioritize personal / professional goals… “always check in with your values.”
- “Never say can’t.”
- “You decide your attitude at any minute in any situation.”
- “Don’t let anyone decide for you.”
- “Look for opportunities in any situation and take them!”
- In terms of how to handle mess-ups… “acknowledge them, learn from them, and move on.”
- “Be true to who you are.”
- “Speak up”
- “Use humor, make friends, and have fun!”
- “Welcome a risk”
Tonight, I reconfirmed my commitment of time with emerging leaders. Time to get to know them personally. Time to listen to their bold goals. Time to amplify their impact and advocate for them. Time to share my network. Time to brainstorm. Time to laugh. Time to commiserate. Time to cheerlead. Time to pour into them how other leaders poured into me.
Tonight, I ask you to join me and plant your leadership acorns in others–and invest in the emerging leaders around you.