REFLECTIONS ON LEADERSHIP
As an artist, I view leadership as a creative endeavor where leaders can facilitate engagements and opportunities for participants to achieve collective aims and a desired future. The design and crafting of organizational spaces is a collaborative venture between and among people, place and resources. Designated leaders play a very important role in shaping a work culture and institution. Important qualities for leaders include: flexibility, empathy, mindfulness, attention to details and patterns, systems thinking, being supportive and positive, patience, generosity, good will, and a commitment to dialogue and problem solving.
Organizations are a nested web of intricate relations. As such, communities of practitioners are complex, yet, highly inter-dependent. Leadership requires working across/with varying agendas to effect change in ways that are not always possible through individual effort. Professional spaces shaped by trust and a commitment to inclusivity can enable sustainable relationships that are necessary for the flourishing of intellectual, creative, civic works, and positive social change.
Leadership is a dynamic process and endeavor that requires artistry as well as practical considerations and approaches. Taking a holistic approach toward leadership, I draw upon both theory and practice and inclusive approaches that consider: a) the interaction of individuals and their environment; b) embodied knowing in decision-making; c) the need for critical reflection on practice; and d) the creation of inclusive spaces for participant dialogue, self-development, learning, and governance.
Holistic leadership allows for:
- Recognizing the uniqueness of individuals and group cultures
- Active listening
- Crafting work and organizational spaces to be inviting
- Valuing diverse and pluralistic thinking and communication styles
- Mindfulness in relating to others
- Attentiveness: paying attention to details and the big picture
- Collaboration as a strategy for meeting mission, goals and problem solving
- Mentoring others to do their best
- States of inter- accountability
- Creativity: Recognizing that every problem has many possible solutions
- Celebrating achievements, successes and milestones
© Sheri R. Klein 2016