Leading Includes Knowing When to Step Back or Jump In, Growing/Learning from ‘Non-Wins’

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve received that has helped you become a better leader?

Robert Heidt
Glendale (AZ) Chamber

Rather than a single piece of advice, I feel that years of observation and interaction have led to a collection of best practices that I work to embrace.

I try to be present and attentive while championing those around me, I believe an empowered team that strives for their own greatness is the best example of me doing my job well.

Never be afraid to jump into the trenches or lead by example, and realize that perceived deficiency or limitation is nothing more than opportunity for greatness.

While we each pursue a personal journey, the moments of convergence are what afford us the greatest chance for growth.

Diane Schwenke
Grand Junction Area (CO) Chamber

I remember someone saying to me once that sometimes the best place to lead from is behind, and I believe that is true. An effective leader is someone who asks the important questions, listens, maps out possible strategies, gets buy-in, and then sometimes becomes the champion for the effort.

Sometimes, however, it is the leader who brings it all together and then lets others be out front and the face of an effort. That can be because others are better suited to carry the message or have the connections necessary to get the desired outcomes.

It really doesn’t matter the reason, but recognizing that sometimes your role is a bit more invisible and utilizing the talents of others appropriately is the mark of an effective leader.

Michael Gallops
Rowlett Area (TX) Chamber & Visitors Center

The best piece of advice I’ve gotten that has helped me to be a better leader was a simple phrase spoken by a friend of mine, former Texas State Representative Cindy Burkett.

She said the best leaders keep a positive attitude in every situation “because sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.”

No matter the outcome, you have to choose how to respond. You can look at things as a win or lose, or you can choose to be better and learn from the “non-wins.” Step out of your comfort zone, learn from the losses and you will be better.

Samantha St. John
Greater Kirkland (WA) Chamber

Don’t be afraid to take risks. You learn just as much from your failures as you do from your successes, sometimes even more. Failures are not often catastrophic or beyond recovery, so taking risks helps you grow as a leader.