The second book in our the Leadership Book Club (2019) was Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. As we were finishing the book, Brene’s Netflix special – ‘the Call to Courage’ came out, which is a must see if you don’t have time to read the book!
As promised, here are some questions to spark conversation – feel free to use with your own book club group, and/or engage in the discussion below in the comments section:
- Have you ever struggled or avoided tough conversations, including giving or receiving honest productive feedback? When? Why?
- Do you have an example in your career of a time when a leader spent time proactively addressing fears/feelings? Did it make you feel differently about your employment and career? Alternatively – do you have an example of the opposite?
- Share some examples of leaders actions that created trust, and/or destroyed it in your experience? What makes you feel connected to your team and/or leaders?
- How can/would you, as a leader, encourage and facilitate room to take smart risks and share bold ideas in your own team? What would be some of the roadblocks & how could you mitigate these?
- Have you experienced shame in your career? Or have you witnessed shaming activities of others? How can you be a leader of integrity and address this in your workplace?
- Have you ever avoided conversations (such as those on diversity) because you fear you will say something wrong? Do you believe we should choose hard conversations over comfort in all situations?
- Does your current organization integrate their values into behaviors that can be taught, measured and evaluated? If not, how could they?
- Who are the people in your life, whose opinions really matter? What’s one commitment you can make to strengthen these connections?
- How would you define vulnerability? How does it show up in your life?
- Which forms of ‘Armoured Leadership’ are you most prone to? (pg. 76)
- What are your two main core values? (pg.189) What actions support these at work?
- Does your workplace struggle with gossip? What actions can you take to resolve this?
- What boundaries have you set in your career (what is ok; what isn’t)?
- Which masking emotions do you usually lean on (withdrawal, pleasing, anger)? Are there specific actions you have noticed that trigger these responses from you?
- Do you think there are ever leadership scenarios where vulnerability is not the right tactic?
<<Next up: Never split the difference by Chris Voss. I hope you join us!>>
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The first book in the Leadership Book Club (2019) is Herding Tigers: Be the Leader that Creative People Need by Todd Henry. If you haven’t already picked up a copy and devoured the contents, you need to pronto! This book is one that will stay on my shelves for reference.
As promised, here are some questions – feel free to use with your own book club group, and/or engage in discussion below in the comments section: Continue reading
A couple months ago, while curled up leisurely reading in front of a roaring fire, with my bestie at Nordik Spa (here in Ottawa) – an unexpected conversation launched with two other spa-goers inquiring about the books we were reading.
There was laughter. There was insight. It was awesome.
I left feeling more connected, uplifted, and motivated – longing to keep that sort of energy going, I posted on social media about wanting to start a Leadership Book Club.
With ever expanding avenues and opportunities for connection that technology provides, we may expect loneliness to be a thing of the past – but unfortunately that is far from the truth.
Loneliness can be defined as a subjective, unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship. It happens when we have a mismatch between the quantity and quality of social relationships that we have, and those that we want (Perlman and Peplau, 1981).
This lack of connection and companionship varies in severity – from a feeling that comes and goes, happens primarily at certain times (like holidays), or it could be something you feel most of the time. Loneliness can be classified as emotional (when we miss a particular person and their companionship) or social (when we miss a wider group or network of friends). Continue reading
Almost 80 years ago, a group of researchers at Harvard embarked on a research project that still continues today – one which has tracked the lives of 724 men and investigated their health (mental and physical), professional lives, as well as relationships.
In looking at the key factors in building a fulfilling, long life – this study has some surprising insights, which can help you appropriately invest your time and energy.
1 – Wealth, Fame, and Hard Work have Little Impact
So many of us get caught up in the rat race – pursuing success in the hopes of creating better more fulfilling lives, and supporting the people we love. A recent study asked millennials about their life goals – with 80% indicating wealth and 50% fame related goals. Metrics echoed by the study’s participants when they were of similar age, who said that they believed that wealth, fame and high achievement were key.
It’s been a topic that has been on my mind often, as of late – although my curiosity first was peaked back in 2015 during my Happiness Project, where I researched and implemented 12 life hacks to increase positivity and balance after some especially difficult personal setbacks.
During the project, I tried gratitude journaling, meditating, exercising, creating uplifting playlists, disconnecting from technology, prioritizing sleep, auditing my life, making time for passions, giving back, saying no (setting boundaries), as well as investing in meaningful connection.
Invest in 5 intentional relationships – a sense of connection with others has been shown to increase happiness. Take time to really consider the people in your life – your friends and family – and determine 5 key relationships. If you can’t think of 5, it’s time to get out there and meet them! Find ways to invest in these people often: carve time out of your day to ask and listen to them, organize dinner parties, arrange coffee dates, go on nature walks, tell them how much you appreciate sharing moments with them.
Marilyn Spink has spent her 30-year career in Engineering (working on projects in mining, pulp and paper industries, steelmaking operations, and consulting engineering). She has led and supported teams of professional engineers and designers to complete projects around the world. She is a licensed professional engineer and a member of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE). In 2014, she was appointed by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor to Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) and is currently Vice President Appointed. Spink is married to Jamie Gerson, also a professional engineer, who is extremely supportive of all her interests and a wonderful father to their three children.
What has been one of the most rewarding parts of your career?
Building stuff and helping people. It is rewarding to see your ideas become real and improve the lives of the people who use whatever you built, or grow from the advice you have provided to them. I am always learning, but the more I learn the more I realize don’t know. My learning is mostly about self-discovery these days. I need to speak less and listen more!
With only 11% of Professional Engineers in Ontario being women, what unique value do you think the female perspective brings to solving Engineering problems?
Women are socialized differently than men. The unique value women bring to solving Engineering problems is simply a different perspective – period. A bunch of similar people (age, race, gender, backgrounds) speaking & working with one another hinders Continue reading