I travel often for business and the long, uninterrupted flights offer me time for reflection. Right now, I am pondering this question: What am I doing to challenge myself and to make myself a better leader in these transformational times? Many of the things I do are simple, but they always provide new ideas and perspectives.
1. Get the Conversation Going
If you know me personally, you’re not surprised to learn that I love to talk to everyone I meet! I strongly believe in the value of having open dialogues with respected business colleagues, coworkers, and friends about the changing dynamics we are all experiencing. I have also had some very enlightening chats with Lyft and Uber drivers.Listening to input from others enables me to look at the business landscape from a variety of perspectives. When I gain more exposure and insight, I can make better decisions for Maintex.
Here's a video I love about how to have good conversations:
2. Read, Read, Listen
I am a big believer in reading articles from a variety of newspapers, magazines, blogs, and social media feeds. Even scrolling through LinkedIn often provides me with insightful articles full of new ideas that may be worth sharing or implementing. This is a great way to discover best practices, read inspirational stories, and get me thinking about next steps for Maintex. Most of these articles are quick and easy to digest.I also love podcasts, which are easy listen to when flying or driving.
3. Collaborate Within Your Community
I appreciate the opportunity to attend industry educational seminars where I listen to professional speakers and learn from subject matter experts. I believe if I leave with one or two new ideas, my time has been well spent. Over many years, I have been an active participant on various industry boards including ISSA, the ISSA Foundation, SMA, and Hygieia. These groups have exposed me to so many leaders in the field, each with a different management style and perspective.
4. Learn from the Experts
A good leader knows when to ask for objective feedback and additional support. That's why my leadership journey utilizes professional consultants. The honest and straightforward input from experts has been eye opening and transformational to me personally and to our organization as a whole, driving our momentum and growth in new directions.
Never Stop Learning
My best advice for continuing to improve as a leader is to always be open to learning from new sources. It is the combination of all of these ongoing activities - conversations, collaboration, and lifelong learning - that inspires my ideas for continuous improvement as we face the challenges of an ever changing business climate.