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In my previous life as a magazine editor, I had the privilege to observe and interview a number of influential leaders: former presidents, television and movie stars, business gurus, and creative geniuses. And while it was always an honor to be in the room with them, if I’m being honest, a few of them haven’t lived up to my expectations. We expect all leaders, especially those in the spotlight, to be ethical, kind, engaging, and available to those they lead. To be fair, those are massive expectations. In my day-to-day life, I would be hard-pressed to name more than a few core people who live up to those pillars at every moment of every day — I certainly don’t. Still, it’s a let-down when someone you’ve looked up to or seen lead from afar ends up being completely disingenuous, disengaged, or even downright rude to others. What becomes especially problematic is when that person is someone on your own leadership team.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I joined the Leadercast team. Now, I was invested in Leadercast long before I started working here, as I have been intentional in finding and utilizing outstanding leadership development content since I was a college student. I used the Leadercast content to help train my team, to help better my own personal leadership style and to clarify my individual voice as a leader. For the past two years, I even convinced my former boss and company executives to attend the Leadercast Live event with me in Atlanta — I was totally hooked on the product. So when an opportunity arose to join the Leadercast team, I was beyond thrilled! And I also had a moment of apprehension.
Because I had seen leaders in the past fall short of expectations, I was afraid that the bubble might burst; that working for a leadership company would not be what I imagined.
In my interview, I was bound and determined to find out whether or not this leadership company was truly walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Here are three questions I was sure to ask:
— What is the culture of the office like?
— What are some of the company’s pain points?
— Why are you hiring for this role specifically?
I’m so thankful that my hiring manager didn’t just give conditioned answers to these questions; she admitted that like any organization, Leadercast has its struggles. The answers gave me valuable insight into what types of employees the leadership team here is looking to develop, how the team solves problems and where the potential spaces of tension may exist. Spoiler alert: things looked good, because here I am, the newest member of the Leadercast team.
Walking the walk is evident every day in the form of the team’s integrity, authenticity, people-first intentionality – the core values and behaviors that drive the Leadercast mission. I count it as a privilege to work among people who are constantly investing in nurturing leaders around the world, and in growing themselves. To me, the intention to flourish as an individual and a team sets the tone for how you can help develop others, and it is exciting to work with an organization that places a high premium on that growth.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that one of my all-time favorite interviews I conducted as a magazine editor was with Tyler Reagin, who is the director of Leadercast’s sister company, Catalyst. I walked away from that interview feeling like I would learn to do any job if it meant I could work with him because of his poignant and constructive insight on leadership. And now, I have the privilege to call him a co-worker.
So, yes, it’s true that not every leader lives up to our expectations. But Leadercast exists to help get each of us to a level of a leadership where our employees and co-workers can identify us as the ones who stand out from the crowd…the ones who don’t settle for mediocrity in leadership, the ones who aspire to serve those around us and help propel others to greatness. I feel honored to be a part of it.
In my first few days, I’ve been reviewing the video content that already exists Leadercast Now as a development tool for individuals and teams. Here are my favorites so far:
— Leadership Conversations: Aja Brown and Rudy Giuliani
— Work-Life Balance for Healthy Teams
— Changing the Mindset of Your Organization
— 3 Steps to Turning Interns into Leaders: Discover, Develop, Deploy
— Finding Your Voice