This fall, I will have the opportunity to speak at the Gwinnett Leadership Forum, on September 5, 2013. The Leadership Forum is all about helping local leaders connect to their highest potential – a mission that is right up my alley.
Twice a year they bring in world-class leaders to share insights, tools and encouragement for leading with integrity and authenticity, both of which are characteristics intrinsically tied to your purpose for work. I couldn’t turn down this chance to speak to local leaders about the impact their personal purpose has on their leadership.
In promoting this event, I had the chance to speak with The Leadership Forum about some of my perspectives on leadership, and I’d like to share that interview with you.
- What is your secret to cultivating both chiefs & indians to form effective teams? – Teams that share a leadership perspective should come together around a common focus, such as a priority customer group, and make the actions of the team follow a defined and often talked about statement of principles. At AFC Enterprises, the priority customer is the franchisee. The executive leadership team spent two years exhibiting common behaviors that established the credibility now promoted as the company’s guiding principles.
- Do you feel having mentors in one’s own career is important? – There is a distinction between coaches and mentors. Coaches supervise. They set expectations, evaluate performance and give feedback. A mentor should be outside the chain of command and speak truth – essential for career development. When working with a mentor, the burden falls to the mentee to own the experience, set the agenda and topics. As mentor, the key is to ask provocative questions, not shower others with your life experiences.
- Can you share the pivotal learning experience that ld you to where you are today? – You often hear it’s during difficult times that you learn the most – and true in my case. Within a short time period, the proverbial rug was pulled out from under me both professionally and physically. I was forced to define what kind of career I wanted and in doing so, I was able to declare who I am as a leader. Being a breast cancer survivor has given me a sense of urgency and purpose as a leader to take full advantage of every day.
- Can you describe you management philosophy? – I purposefully invest more time in growing an individual’s character, in addition to competencies. Through intentional leadership, I get to know the person and how to motivate that individual. The important results are these individuals are more engaged and hardworking, creating the highest order of business. As well, the enterprise benefits.
- Your executive bio describes you as a crisp strategist. Can you explain? – I am exceptionally focused on a few important things and I talk about them all the time. For example, when arriving at AFC Enterprises, I established a road map for success. Strategy is your destination. Call out a strategy in crystal clear fashion. This gives individual team members the information needed to decide if they want to follow. You’re only a leader if you have followers. Also, I’ve found it’s always more important to decide what you’re going to say no to than yes.
- What will you share at the Gwinnett Leadership Forum, On September 5th? – I plan to challenge participants to explore where they are in determining their own personal purpose in leadership. In my blog 10 Things I Love About You, I capture my thoughts for cultivating others and it serves as a preview of what business leaders planning to attend the Gwinnett Leadership Forum can expect to learn.