Thursday, May 2, 2013

From Poor Role Models Can Spring Great Leaders...

A scene from Tuesday's women's leadership forum...

This past Tuesday, a lovely co-worker and I attended a fabulous women’s leadership forum at Bowling Green State University entitled, “Becoming a Woman of Influence.”  With over 500 in attendance (persons traveled from as many as six different states to be there!), an array of inspiring speakers, networking galore, sweet take-home goody bags, live music and a to-die-for lunch, it was a glorious way to spend my day!

My greatest takeaway from this forum was hearing one common assertion echoed by the keynote and luncheon speakers—as well as the panelists that addressed various questions posed to them.  "What was that resounding theme?" you ask.  Interestingly enough, every one of these successful women cited value from having served under unsatisfactory supervisors as often as they did from those they deemed remarkable leaders, mentors, and role models.

“What?” you may likely be asking.  Well, it’s actually not as far of a stretch to imagine as one might originally fathom...  You see, some indicated they learned what not to do as a result of having had less-than-desirable supervisors along the way.  Others were able to glean valuable leadership tidbits from these overall unsavory experiences, and later apply the useful nuggets identified to subsequently advance their own careers. Along with the bad, there is usually some good, right?

Why this spoke so clearly to me is that I can totally relate to it!  Over the years, I’ve had the tremendous advantage of having served under a few outstanding supervisors/leaders.  Likewise, there have been some folks that were (um) not so grand (smile).  Nevertheless, I harvested the useful bits and pieces from even the weaker leaders encountered, and used them to my own advantage along the way.  Like several of the women who spoke on Tuesday, I have also learned how not to lead via my exposure to those who modeled themselves quite poorly in my presence.

A couple of goodies I received for attending!

How about you?  Does this resonate with you as much as it did me?  Please share your thoughts!

Joy, peace and happy “little Friday” to you!  T.