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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Some of DC’s best

I have been in Washington DC for the last four days with colleagues from other land grant universities in the mid-west working on leadership development (focused on influence, power, and more to come soon on that). In our daily assignments we have also had a chance to see some of the sights. I haven’t been here since high school, so it has been great to see some of the newer monuments. Below are just a few of my favorites so far!
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What are your favorite things to see in Washington DC?