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Elizabeth Bellsey Marketing and Business Development Coordinator BAM Architecture Studio

Elizabeth Bellsey
On June 25th, the SMPS NY Leadership Committee arranged a June Professional Development program, “Transformation in Leadership.” Led by leadership coach Russell Heath, Russell shared his observations about leadership and worked with the attendees to hone their leadership skills.

[expand title=”Click here to read more about the June 2015 Leadership Lunch…”] At the start of the discussion, Russell explained that leadership itself isn’t a skill, but it comes from a skills base. As an example, an understanding of PowerPoint in itself is not a form of leadership. Utilizing your knowledge of PowerPoint is a skill that contributes to the leadership involved in running a campaign. Russell defined leadership as making something happen that wasn’t there before. He breaks leadership down into three succinct ideas: Vision – You are here, but you want to get there. “There” is the goal that you want to accomplish. Inspiration – Build a team around you that is inspired about the vision. Action – Mobilize, putting the team to action to accomplish the leadership vision. This is the most difficult step, because it often takes years in order to see the results. Expanding on the ideas above, Russel discussed how leaders and managers work together to accomplish the leadership vision. The role of leader is to do the right thing and lead the vision for the team. Managers contribute to this by putting systems in place to help accomplish the vision, such as balancing the checkbook. Management often supersedes leadership due to the fact that management handles more countable tasks. Leadership often goes unnoticed, since its role is not as easily seen as the concrete tasks of managers. Both functions are necessary, since managers keep the vision from falling apart and leadership keeps the group on the path. In helping to make your vision a success, it is important to view the vision through the right context. Powerful leaders choose their context, and Russell provided a few helpful, empowering contexts to consider: Play to win, rather than playing not to lose. – Playing not to lose involves playing it safe, meaning you won’t be humiliated, you want people to like you, but what you get is as mediocre as the effort you put in. – Playing to win is having a stake in the game by opening-up, being vulnerable and committing to something. Here you have the chance to win big. You open yourself to succeed on a higher level but you also open yourself to the potential for failure and embarrassment. Playing to win allows you to develop in a way you wouldn’t develop otherwise. Listen to everybody through the lens that people are approaching situations from love or from a call of love. – If someone insults you, they are coming from a call of love, a need of kindness. – If you always approach situations from a place of kindness and love, it allows you to respond to negative situations in a way that keeps you centered and non-reactive. Disempowering contexts that can hinder leadership are: – Looking at situations through the perspective of right/wrong, since this means one person is feeding off of a sense of righteousness. The sense of righteousness leads to difficulties in interpersonal relationships. -Better than/worse than context, which involves comparing yourself to other people, and fearing that you are not good enough. Everyone has this at some level. – The context of seeing oneself as weak, when a person won’t assert themselves and won’t do what they need to do. – The feeling that one doesn’t belong. A final, helpful takeaway is in any situation that isn’t going in a direction you want it to, sit back and think “What would a leader do?” Speaker Russell Heath, Leadership Coach at Russell Heath Coaching: Russell Heath coaches leaders and high-performing professionals committed to making things happen. He works with entrepreneurs who are passionate about building their businesses. As executive director of two controversial and highly effective Alaskan non-profits, Russell led advocacy and political campaigns. From his in-the-trenches experience as a leader, he saw that effective leaders are masters of their circumstances; ineffective leaders whine a lot. Wanting to know how effective leaders developed the power to produce results; he immersed himself in leadership training—as a participant and later as a coach. Russell is certified by Accomplishment Coaching, (link: http://www.accomplishmentcoaching.com/) the country’s premier coach training school. Planners This program was planned by members of the SMPS NY Leadership Committee. The Leadership Committee promotes an awareness of leadership thinking and provides a platform for top performers and experts to share their knowledge on the topic of Leadership. This initiative offers insights “to lead the way” whether to enhance individual skills or develop leaders of and within an organization. This initiative offers participants opportunities to gain personal insight to develop objectives that enhance their experience and growth as leaders at all stages of their careers. [/expand]