At a recent learning opportunity through the Abel program, I had the opportunity to hear Mary Jean Gallagher speak about leadership. As anticipated, it was a great presentation.
The session began with Mary Jean comparing developments from different time periods and the relative impact. She recalled the first main frame computers, and Commodore 64’s on the scene and wonderment people had about how things would change. What would happen?
Technology is in a constant state of flux. How will leadership respond to technological change: Does a new technology present a promise or a threat?
Questions to consider: How do we embrace new technology in a time when people are concerned about ubiquitous access and equity, AND in the same context of parent concerns of access, identity and privacy AND in the same context of: it is easier to be risk averse rather than push ahead.
It is human nature to pull back. How do we get people engaged in the change process? Perhaps a key role of a leader is to distress the comfortable, and comfort the distressed. Todays leaders need to add disonance to our organizations sometimes and be less risk averse. Leaders don’t have to know everything, and that is OK. Leaders do need to model in visible ways. Leaders need to help organizations set policies that help organizations move forward by enabling rather than avoiding.
Her presentation concluded by identifying points for leaders to ponder:
- Are you intentional about what you do?
- Do you role model in visible ways?
- Do you intentionally position things for change?
- Where do you lean: towards anchors or change?
- Are you reflective?
- Do you engage with wider collaboration?
- Do you model learning and inquiry?
I hope you find these points for reflection valuable. Enjoy your reflecting and learning — and happy leap year day.