According to The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, “leadership is a relationship” and “leadership development is self development.” It is no doubt that this philosophy has been embraced by the women’s leadership conference vision team at Clemson University. It was a delight to witness the manifestation of this vision when I travelled to Clemson, SC to speak at the 2011 annual Women’s Leadership Conference. Students were engaging in discussions about conflict management, forgiveness, balancing roles in relationships, clarifying one’s values, relaxation techniques, and thinking with one’s heart to name a few! Leadership development truly IS self development in the 21st century and beyond.
From my perspective, this was a match made in heaven because my heart’s desire is to inspire others to live from their heart via a Growth in Motion™ lifestyle.
There are four critical skills that our future leaders will come to embrace along their journey. They are:
1) Self knowledge – This helps us to know when to say “no” and when to say “yes” for correct decision making.
2) Appreciation of others – It is challenging in any environment when people don’t feel appreciated.
3) The openness to listen to their heart – A skill that requires intention, attention, and inspiration.
4) The courage to follow their heart – Even when their mind is telling them something different!
Each critical skill sounds very simple yet each one can be a lifetime of discovery because patience, trust, and endurance create the foundation of them! The fact that the women of Clemson are already exploring these topics is exemplary of true visionaries and authentic leadership development. They are already on the path to truly understanding how to work better with other people, have a better understanding of how and when to take risks, unleash enormous levels of creativity, and escape self-imposed limitations.
Congratulations women of Clemson University. You truly are role models who are authentically committed to our future leaders!
Take Care of Yourself,
“Living a Growth in Motion™ lifestyle!”