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#ForumCon18 Shows How to Lead Within Your Role

Friday, August 3, 2018

This is a guest post from Kalisha Bass, Director of Member Engagement and Operations, Arizona Grantmakers Forum.

Growing up, I was given opportunities to lead my family’s household. When asked if I’d rather have a brother or sister, I was happy when my parents obliged to my decision and produced my sister (despite the 50/50 odds). I planned and prepared Tuesday night dinners; I negotiated my allowance (despite the fact that I didn’t know the going rate for my age and chores); and, I even led the neighborhood games.

Although these experiences equipped me with some leadership skills, the United Philanthropy Forum has provided me with opportunities to help me elevate my role.

During #ForumCon18, I collected the following leadership lessons:  

  • Be a cheerleader for your team
  • Cross-train your team
  • Be a leader to your members
  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Seek volunteer and community engagement roles
  • Lead trainings at other organizations
  • Be a subject-matter expert through a blog
  • Know how you lead outside the office
  • Have the courage to make decisions
  • Contribute your ideas
  • Get things done
  • Offer feedback to your colleagues and CEO
  • Ask for feedback
  • Challenge “what’s always been done”
  • Be an advocate by standing up for others and learning when to say “no”
  • Take risks
  • Know your strengths
  • Lead through your personal story and experience
  • Lead through your values
  • Be a mentor for your team

As you embark on your own leadership journey, I share two thought-provoking exercises that I did:

  1. Identify two opportunities to lead within your organization and write down the steps to accomplish these goals. Find an accountability partner (this can be a colleague, mentor, board member, supervisor or friend) and share these goals with them. Determine a date that this person will follow up with you about these opportunities.
  2. What prohibits you from growing as a leader? Write down the answer using this statement: “(The what) is happening because...  (This) is because ...”

For extra credit: Watch this fun and exciting three-minute Ted Talk, How to Start a Movement.

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