Dare to Lead – Leadership Questions

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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:

  1. Have you ever struggled or avoided tough conversations, including giving or receiving honest productive feedback? When? Why?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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?
  6. 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?
  7. Does your current organization integrate their values into behaviors that can be taught, measured and evaluated? If not, how could they?
  8. Who are the people in your life, whose opinions really matter? What’s one commitment you can make to strengthen these connections?
  9. How would you define vulnerability? How does it show up in your life?
  10. Which forms of ‘Armoured Leadership’ are you most prone to? (pg. 76)
  11. What are your two main core values? (pg.189) What actions support these at work?
  12. Does your workplace struggle with gossip? What actions can you take to resolve this?
  13. What boundaries have you set in your career (what is ok; what isn’t)?
  14. Which masking emotions do you usually lean on (withdrawal, pleasing, anger)? Are there specific actions you have noticed that trigger these responses from you?
  15. 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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Herding Tigers – Leadership Questions

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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

Leadership Book Club (2019)

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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.

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Inspirational Person: Marilyn Spink, Engineering Advocate

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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

The simple art of saying no & letting go.

It’s not easy, is it? Letting go of things, even if they aren’t good for us. There is a strange comfort in what we have become used to – whether that be clutter or emotional stresses – despite their toxicity.

I know that a house with less ‘stuff’ is what I ultimately want, but yet I still struggle with letting go of certain items(especially those with sentimental value). Equally so, I know I want a life where I prioritize the most positive and uplifting relationships, but I have struggled with setting boundaries and learning how to say ‘no’ in order to have the freedom to say ‘yes’ where and when it counts.

Healthy boundaries are not walls. They are gates and fences that allow you to enjoy the beauty of your own garden.  – Lydia Hall

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New Year, New Challenge: Simplify.

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Every year, I take on a challenge. Something that gets me closer to living a life inline with my values. It allows me to focus on one thing – and usually see some significant strides in that area – rather than tackling everything at once.

This past year, I completed a STUFF Project. It included going through all of the things in my condo and storage. Piece by piece. I would be lying if I said that it was easy, took only a couple of weekends, or that I enjoyed the process. It was quite stressful, as I thrive in clean and uncluttered spaces, and the process involved ripping apart well hidden pockets of forgotten items in boxes/bins/drawers and the resulting boxes piled up in the hallways.

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine de SaintExupery

It made me realize how many things I still have, and how much work could be done to simplify my life. That’s why this year, I want to take an even deeper look at how I got here in the first place. Continue reading

STUFF Project: Purge 5 things a week

As I began to look at where to start in order to change my relationship with what I own, it didn’t take too much investigating to realize something glaringly obvious:

I have too much STUFF.

From a front closet bursting with bins, to a bedroom which boasts in functionality but lacks in peacefulness, to a storage unit which is filled to the brim (and occasionally overflows when some unsuspecting visitor opens it); impressive organizational skills are able to disguise but not truly address my problem.

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