I was honored to speak at the graduation of the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership’s 2015 Health Leadership Development class this spring and had the occasion to reflect back on my own development as a leader and the key practices that I try to follow. Here’s a glimpse into what I shared with the class:
Leonard’s Five Leadership Practices:
Apply the leadership skills you have honed and acquired: We all develop leadership skills through our life experiences. The trick is to both apply these new skills and to constantly burnish our long-existing talents to do each time a better job than before.
Commit to seeking and making balance in your own lives: In order to be the best leader – and to do your best for the people around you, you have to have the strength and the energy to be able to do so. Figure out what creates balance in your life and seek it. Sometimes making time for these activities is tough, but I have learned that without these outlets, I can’t be a strong support for those I work with.
Develop trust in the skills and capacities of those who work for you and with you and those who are your leaders: The most effective organizations that I have worked in have consciously made efforts to support the capacities and contributions of every member of the team. By learning the skills and capacities of others and trusting in them, we can accomplish much more.
Find a mentor and mentor others: It is an honor to be a mentor – and a duty as well. Only by helping the next group of leaders can we ensure that the work we care about now will be continued into the future.
Take the long view: Working within the health care sector, the challenges are big and complicated. We may not see success right away. The role of any leader is to ensure that we look into the future to see where we want to go and then to help everyone on the team to have the patience to make sure that we get there together.