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:
- 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.
- 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.