November 10, 2008
Alan Kearns, who has done some consulting work in the past with the FMCiC, writes a weekly column in which he talks about leadership issues. This past week, he wrote about an interview that he had with Launi Skinner, President of 1-800-GOT-JUNK and former President of Starbucks.
In his conversation with Launi, he took notes on the advice she has given the thousands of employees that she has led and that she uses personally in her own extraordinary career as a leader. Alan writes for those thinking about advancing their careers. Some will want to remind me that ministry is not a career but a vocation. I agree. At the same time, ponder these six points and see if they don’t help us grow as leaders,
1. Surround yourself with mentors – You need to actively seek out people to build personal and professional relationships with. A majority of the opportunities in your career will come through a network that has a personal and vested interest in you. Launi’s advice – “Be selfish – look for people who care about you, who have similar values and who live a meaningful life.”
2. Put People First – Servant leadership is one of Launi’s key principles. People follow those that are genuinely interested in helping others. Remember, leadership is about them – not you. Launi’s advice – “People respond to leadership that is available, genuine, vulnerable, knowledgeable and authentic.”
3. Be more interested than interesting – When you are meeting with people in your organization, resist the desire to make the discussion about you. Make it about them. People want to talk about themselves and what they are doing. Curiosity may have killed the cat, however, it still has 8 lives left. Launi’s advice – “You become more interested than interesting when you listen, ask questions and learn.”
4. Love what you do – Focus on the type of work and people that will align with your values. You will be a better fit, have more success and you will find your role far more rewarding. Launi’s advice – “Make career decisions based on what you like to do and where you will learn and grow the most.”
5. Take Risks – Even though this may seem like a paradox with all of the current economic turmoil. You have to know and respect the different levels of risk tolerance that you are willing to incur in your career. The paradox is that there is much more security found in taking smart risks than in playing it safe. Launi’s advice – “Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone.”
6. Develop Positive Affirmations – There is a lot of negativity in the market and in the media. Try looking at the world through a lens that is focused on where the options are and the potential you have to participate in areas of growth. Launi’s advice – “Do you see it and then believe it or do you believe it and then see it? Well, you do both.”
Alan adds: “These six ideas are not new. Like any formula, the key elements are quite simple. The complexity and the challenge are in applying them to your own situation. If you wish for things to change, you need to change.” He has given me permission to share these notes and if you want to listen to Launi’s talk about these 6 points on a podcast click on: http://www.careerjoy.com/node/433
There are no appointment changes to announce this week.