What Makes for Enduring Leadership? Know Your Structure and Culture!

Sunday, February 04, 2018 10:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

A Review of the January ATD Rocky Mountain Chapter meeting. 

By Mike Faber, M.S.

ATD RMC Member

What’s your “walk-up” song? Ballplayers have them, musical artists have them, stand-up comics have them. So why not a walk-up tune to accompany you when you enter a room? That intriguing question was posed by JERA Partnerships’ Diane Zile during her recent presentation on Enduring Leadership at ATD Rocky Mountain Chapter’s January meeting. Zile’s JERA Partnerships, LLC, helps individuals and organizations with strategic planning, executive coaching, leadership development and a variety of other services.

Each of us bring unique life experiences to our work, and unique talents. Zile urged attendees to focus on identifying the structure and culture in which each of us can maximize the impact of those talents and experience. For instance, a workplace culture may be centered around results and less around people. One would describe that culture as “Driving” – perhaps a good place to start a career when most of our lives revolve around work and learning a craft. As we mature, many of us look more for a culture that continues to focus on results but also places emphasis on the value of nurturing and developing people. Zile identifies that culture as “Integrated”.

As to the structure of a work environment, it’s important to have a balance of contributors across a spectrum. One member of the team might be “Fast-paced and Outspoken”. Best to balance her with a colleague who is more “Cautious and Reflective”. Will this result in conflict periodically? Yes, and that’s good! Conflict can be the catalyst for creative leaps forward. Zile also described two other structure types as “Questioning and Skeptical” with an opposite number of “Warm and Accepting”. It’s also important to note that these structural preferences aren’t set in stone. You might find yourself moving from one structure to the next depending on environmental variables or your own comfort level with the work at hand.

While each of the attendees took away different nuggets from the presentation on Enduring Leadership, Zile’s message about work fulfillment and “work-life integration” rather than “work-life balance” seemed to resonate for all. She stated “We’re in a market where you should be working someplace that aligns with what’s most important to you.” Amen to that!

Chapter Members, do you have a topic that you would like to blog about? Interested in reviewing a Chapter Meeting? Contact the Vice President of Communications and your content could be featured on the website or in an upcoming newsletter. 

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