Here to Listen

   “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou 

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~ From the Chicago Art Institute –

I believe that a good leader listens carefully and empathetically to those around him or her. A leader encourages respect by personally demonstrating a high level of respect towards others; additionally, I think that a thread of kindness in an individual has the strength of steel – if all else fails, this thread will hold a person together in the most trying of times, inspiring compassion, empathy, and the desire to help others; these are, I believe, essential qualities of an inspiring leader.

An effective leader needs to have strength of mind and of spirit – in this, I mean the ability to have an engaged and active mindset that processes the varying opinions and concerns of the group, but ultimately, makes a decision that he or she believes to be the right one, knowing that it is impossible to please every person. I think that a strong leader clearly articulates expectations and goals for the group, presenting his or her role as a leader in conjunction with working alongside those in the group towards these goals and expectations.  To me, it is frustrating when the leader of a board or committee I am part of states, “As the leader, I need to be delegating my responsibilities to my committee.” In my mind, I think, “I know. You’ve ‘delegated’ all your responsibilities to me.” Leadership does involve delegating certain responsibilities in order to be efficient and resourceful with time and assets; however, I believe it is important to emphasize that even as the leader of the group, you strive to work alongside those you are leading towards the common goal, recognizing the qualities that each individual brings to the group and acknowledging a job well done.

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