Thankfully, It Never Stops
The year went by quickly. I am almost done with my term as ALA President and I could not be more thankful for the education I received over the last year. I learned a lot about myself and even more about leadership. Some may think that once you take over this type of a leadership role, it’s because you have finely honed your leadership skills. I am happy to report that is not the case. Thankfully, there is always so much more to learn.
For me, leadership has always been about experimentation. I go with my gut a lot, and I spend a lot of time observing what is going on around me to get a read on the room or situation. Leadership also requires patience toward yourself and others. It requires you to be very in tune with those with whom you are working; leadership should be fun and should equally fill and empty your buckets.
Here are the three most important things that I learned about leadership this past year:
Be vulnerable and have humility. No one is perfect, and that should be expected and embraced. If you are vulnerable as a leader and open yourself up to those around you, you create a great trust. This trust encourages stronger collaboration, fosters a positive-conflict environment and creates a greater opportunity for wider perspectives. If you make yourself vulnerable, everyone in the room will follow. If you make a mistake or change your mind, that’s OK — shout it from the rooftops. If you try to hide things, it discredits your authenticity. Everyone appreciates a leader who is open and honest and creates trust.