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Leadership Styles
Last Post 25 Sep 2013 05:14 AM by Allen Kinsel. 6 Replies.
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Author Messages
Denise McInerney
New Member
New Member

23 Sep 2013 08:12 AM  
Every person elected to the PASS Board brings their own ideas and priorities to the job. Good ideas are only the start. A bigger challenge for leaders is influencing others of the merit of your ideas in order to accomplish your goals.

If elected how would you approach getting your ideas implemented? What leadership qualities would you bring to the table that would make you an effective Director?
Ami Levin
New Member
New Member

23 Sep 2013 09:26 AM  
Hi Denise,

Thank you for asking about this very important point.

As a result oriented person, I don’t believe in just ideas. Any initiative that I will bring to the table will be backed up with a detailed work plan, action items and well-defined milestones which will pave the way to measurable success.
I’m a team player with extensive experience in taking raw ideas and turning them into reality. I did that with many community initiatives over the years and with my start-up company, DBSophic.
As a PASS community leader, I bring a proven track record of excellence and leadership skills backed up by the great success of the Israeli PASS chapter.
As founder, board member and CTO of DBSophic, I have gained extensive experience and skills in entrepreneurship, management, strategic planning and teamwork.
This positions me to become a very effective PASS director.

For more information, please visit my campaign web site at http://www.amilevin.com

Ami Levin
Richard Douglas
New Member
New Member

23 Sep 2013 09:35 AM  
With the high work ethic of our outstanding volunteers I feel that a participative leadership style would be very effective. Working in this style brings higher levels of engagement with colleagues enabling a more collaborative approach where new ideas can be discussed and refined openly.

In terms of the board level I would take a similar approach. However, as with many things preparation is key. The BoD will have a lot of issues to discuss and so time is of the essence. The ability to clearly communicate ideas via an elevator pitch and the ability to drill into any requested detail is crucial in my opinion to being able to hold a room.

Once an individual idea has been pitched it is up to the director to show the benefits that it can bring to the organization and it's members, whilst also making sure that this enhances the mission statement.
Jen Stirrup
New Member
New Member

23 Sep 2013 10:59 AM  
Hello Denise,
Thank you for asking this insightful question.

From my perspective, there are a number of key facets of an approach of bringing a concept from an idea to actual fruition. A key element is communication; airing an idea is often a multi-faceted process and I tend to 'bounce' ideas around so it's no longer 'my' idea, but the 'team' idea shared amongst peers, and measured against the yardstick of the overall objectives of PASS. This can help bring people along a journey with you, since they're already invested their energy in a shared idea. In this way, I am more of a 'quiet leader' since it means that you start to dissolve conflict at the micro level, in the early stages. I'm also humble enough to recognise that other people have great ideas, and giving people a sounding board can lead to the 'best' idea,not just the idea of a particular individual. Discussing ideas isn't always simply a creative process; it can be a conflict resolution process too, I believe. Strongly held views are welcome, and a way forward amongst peers, with a common end goal, can be found.

Empowering peers and volunteers is so important to delivering an idea effectively. Helping people to see the 'big picture' can be hard, but it is worthwhile in bringing people along with you. I also think that documentation != planning and a lot of documentation does not necessitate a lot of planning! I believe that plans are a vital part of explaining the big picture as well as the micro-steps along the way in order to obtain the ideas and buy-in from peers on the Board. Volunteers need nurturing but they also need direction, and the sharing of common project vocabulary such as project plans, deliverable documents etc will help people to have transparency around the decision making process and the goals to get there.

I think a 'back to basics' approach is needed to help volunteers to deliver their events and help that they need, and I'd like to see a volunteer support program whereby people help one another. For example, we already hold webinars that dissemiinate SQL knowledge; why not hold them to disseminate community knowledge? I'd love to see a webinar series on 'how to organise a SQLSaturday' or 'how to get your user group up and running' whereby more experienced volunteers can help to impart knowledge to help facilitate the enthusiasm of more inexperienced volunteers. I'd hope to put structures like this in place, so that the likelihood of success can be maximised.

To get ideas implemented, I think it is always worth bringing people along the journey with you and empowerment is essential to this process. I believe it is two-way; and a 'fail fast' methodology is important. For example, if the indicators are that a particular idea isn't working, it is important to recognise it quickly and take difficult decisions where necessary.
I also believe in honesty, and the importance of speaking plainly whilst not being disrespectful. This is particularly important where conflict arises. Sometimes, to deliver an idea, you have to 'give a bit' to 'get a bit' so you might need to take a step back yourself, to then take two steps forward with your eye on meeting the long-term goal, not the short-term goal.

To answer the second part of your question: what leadership qualities would I bring? In his work the Republic, Plato had the idea of a Philosopher-King. The fundamental concept is that the people who want power, shouldn't have it. Another way of expressing this is to say that the people who want the most power, are the ones who shouldn't have it. We see the transverse of this in the native American 'giving away' tradition, where you give and share, and it is the 'giver' who receives the greatest blessing. In this way, the people with the most power are the ones who give it away, for the good of the community or the people around them. I know it is not a traditional academic leadership theory but I believe in the simplicity and respect that this perspective embodies.
I tend to think that respect, politeness and a willing ear and a focus on delivery and the long-term view can help to earn the trust of peers on the Board. The objective is to deliver, and derive the best from volunteers and your peers, who are pretty special people in the first place and deserve every respect. Saying 'Thank You' is so important. I dislike it when I see volunteers not always treating each other with the respect that each of them deserve, simply because the communication has broken down and everyone has lost sight of the end goal in the process; helping the community. I believe that matching volunteers to activities is also very important; there are plenty of talented people in the SQL community and it is important to look for it, and nurture it where possible.

Therefore the qualities that I bring may not be the most obvious ones, but I'd bring what I believe in: communication, openness, a belief and a passion for the end goal, humility and also a tenacity for delivery. Taking responsibility for failures but also giving credit to others for successes.

Thank you for reading this far For those of you who are interested in reading more about me, please visit http://jenstirrupforsqlfamily.wordpress.com/
Neil Hambly
New Member
New Member

24 Sep 2013 05:48 AM  
Hi Densie
Great question on which to start the grilling of the candidates

Of course each of us would bring a different set of leadership qualities, for me this would be having the ability to take an idea through a number of key phases in order to identify it's particular strengths and weakness, removing any rough edges and refining it enough until it has a solid structure with clear objectives and then formulating the stages of a plan to deliver it through to completion, the plan should contain enough flexibility in it's approach to be able to adapt to circumstances as it progresses

Leadership is one of those qualities that is difficult to define and explain, I believe that if you can show that you put the interests of the people and the projects first as well as listen to those around you, yet still be able to then take 'the lead' and be able to motivate & nurture the others, so they can succeed

Knowing no-one can be the best @ everything they attempt, finding the right people who are suited to delivering certain tasks and then helping them achieve success is how great teams are formed and kept focused with a leaders vision and energy

Amy Lewis
New Member
New Member

24 Sep 2013 03:32 PM  
Great question Denise!

I tend to use a collaborative leadership style. I like to gather people around me to help solve problems and to get input from various organization elements so that many people will have a stake in the success of any selected solution to a problem. I use this same process to get ideas implemented.

Leadership Qualities I bring to the table: organization, planning, ability to delegate, communication, very positive attitude, and to me one of the most important... the ability to inspire.


Want to learn more about Amy? Please check out the below links:
Candidate Page: http://www.sqlpass.org/Elections/Ca...Lewis.aspx
Board Application: http://www.sqlpass.org/LinkClick.as...&mid=18041
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/amy-lew...9/47b/Edit

Allen Kinsel
New Member
New Member

25 Sep 2013 05:14 AM  
Hi Denise,

I learned through my last tenure on the board that making decisions or having great ideas is actually quite easy the difficulty comes in trying to get others to rally around an idea or decision you’d like made. For any given initiative a Director would like to advance it is important to have it vetted by a few peers before trying to gather the entire Boards support. Personally, My real key to succeeding after the initial vetting is having a good “elevator pitch” and all of the information that could possibly be wanted by my peers. My prior experience on the board has given me a wealth of leadership experience. I believe my ability to listen and communicate effectively are 2 skills that are often underplayed when thinking of leadership but are actually of critical value.

More information about me and my platform can be found on my site
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