Leadership Advice from Washington DC


As previously mentioned (here and here), I am fortunate to be part of the National Extension Leadership Development (NELD) NorthCentral 2014 cohort. This is a year-long professional development training for my colleagues and I from land-grant Universities from the Mid-West.

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In front of the Capital!

We just wrapped up our third session in Washington DC where we focused on the effects of power, influence, ethics, and environmental situations on leadership. We had the opportunity to meet with the leaders of various corporations, institutions, non-profit organizations, as well as our respective elected state officials, their staffers, and many others.

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Nebraska NELD members with Senator Deb Fischer

Over the course of the past five days our group asked the various leaders we met to share their journey to get where they are today, as well as their leadership skills and attributes with us. They also shared what leadership looks like in others. This list has made me evaluate myself and consider which characteristics I think I possess and which characteristics are still a work in progress for me.

Leadership Advice from Washington DC (in no special order)
1. Listen and process what you hear.
2. Be inquisitive – don’t accept the status quo.
3. Establish a healthy work/life balance.
4. Understand yourself (What drives you? What are you passionate about? etc.).
5. Be a mentor.
6. Be aware of the world around you – watch trends, behaviors, and research.
7. Engage and empower people.
8. Be a workhorse, not a show horse.
9. Collaboration, partnerships, and teamwork can be powerful.
10. Be creative and innovative.
11. Take calculated risks.
12. Do what you say you will do.
13. Everyone is valuable.
14. Make a difference.
15. Good communication skills.
16. Have fun and laugh.

Are there other skills or attributes that an effective leader should have? What ones do you think you excel at?

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The Washington Monument

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6 thoughts on “Leadership Advice from Washington DC

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