Category Archives: Leadership

  • -

Saying, “Yes, and…?” to Leadership Opportunities

Category:Leadchange,Leadership,STC,STC Rochester Tags : 

What If?

“Yes, and…?” is the hallmark of improv comedy. It’s also key to our growth as leaders. What if we said, “Yes, and…?” when approached about taking a leadership role in an organization?

For many of us, our first reaction to leadership requests are, “No, because…,” or perhaps, “There’s no way I can do that!” We live in an increasingly fast-paced culture with many opportunities on which to spend our time. Many of us can be quite guarded when considering external commitments. Sometimes being guarded is warranted because of our current level of obligations; sometimes we just have an automatic “No” response. We know what saying “no” provides us: security, peacefulness, free time, and a comfort zone.

Let’s look at what saying, “Yes, and…?” has done for me and what it may do for you.

My “Yes, and…?” Journey

My “Yes, and…?” journey started about 10 years ago when I agreed to be Program Manager for the Rochester Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. My role was to obtain speakers for educational events and to help set up venues. It was a reasonably small role, and I believed I could do a good job at it.

The following spring the chapter looked for volunteers to fill their election slate. When they asked me what role I was willing to take, I said anything besides Vice President. (The Vice President role includes co-chairing our regional conference and speaking in front of a large group of people. I was not interested. As an introvert, I absolutely did not feel comfortable in that role.)

When the chapter announced the election slate, I was on the ballot–as a VP candidate! Although I didn’t believe I was suited for nor competent to take that role, I didn’t want the embarrassment of withdrawing from the role or admitting I believed it was beyond me. Providentially, the chapter nominations committee saw leadership skills in me that I did not yet see within myself. I did OK in that role. I was partnered with someone who had filled the role the previous year and I was able to act as an “understudy” and not feel as though the weight of the role was too much.

The following year, the dues structure changed in the organization and most all of the current leadership left the organization. (There were other factors–retirements, moves, etc., that also impacted. their decisions.) There was no one more senior than me. I would be the next president. I became the next chapter president. It was a good year, although we had struggles without former leaders to mentor us. I attended my first Leadership Program at the STC Summit Conference in Dallas, met and engaged with other chapter leaders, and began establishing a peer network that has been invaluable to this day.

The Next Step

After my successful year as STC Rochester president, I decided I wanted to help other chapter leaders who might face the same challenge of having no leadership mentors. I joined the Community Affairs Committee and built an outreach program and team to mentor and assist other chapter and SIG (Special Interest Group) leaders. That team made a positive impact. My “Yes, and…?” was agreeing to serve and bringing my vision for a leadership outreach team to fruition.

Today

Fast forward to today. Next week I’ll be installed as the Vice President of the Society for Technical Communication. The following year I will become President. Unlike local chapter elections where 90% of the time candidates ran opposed, this time I had an opponent (who was also a friend). I campaigned actively for the role. I ran for office because that peer network I had become part of through the Summit Leadership Program and the leaders I had helped support, told me they needed me to run because they believed in me. They believed that I would help lead positive and potentially deep changes to the organization that would address our changing demographics and ensure we’d be a viable and influential organization in the future.

“Yes, and…?” and Me

My leadership journey has stretched me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I’m now comfortable speaking to large groups of people. I’m able to articulate a vision of where I believe the organization needs to go. I’ve learned to build consensus and enroll others in meaningful initiatives.

I love being able to make a difference! Although I was initially tentative and doubted my ability to be a leader, I was willing. I’ve been stretched. It’s not always been comfortable.

I wouldn’t trade the journey for anything.

“Yes, and…?” and You

Please say, “Yes, and…?” when someone (perhaps me) offers you an opportunity to serve!

Will it take you out of your comfort zone? I certainly hope so. We grow through being stretched. We grow through service to others and I believe there’s no higher calling.

Serve where you’re passionate. Make a difference!

 


  • -
microphone

Ben Woelk–Spring 2018 Speaking and Conference Schedule

Category:EDUCAUSE,Information Security,Introverted Leadership,Leadership,Presentations,STC,Summit

Updated 18 February 2018

It’s going to be a busy few months for speaking engagements for the first half of the year! I hope to see many of you.

Speaking Engagements through June 2018

Topic Date Venue Registration Link Notes
Slack for Technical Writers and Editors 23 Jan STC San Diego and STC Rochester Virtual Workshop NA With Sara Feldman; Recording available.
Slack for Communities 16 Feb STC CAC Leadership Virtual Workshop NA With Sara Feldman
Lessons Learned on an Introvert’s Journey to Leadership 22 Feb STC Atlanta Webinar Sign up on Meetup to receive registration instructions
Lessons Learned on an Introvert’s Journey to Leadership 27 Feb Webinar for Quebec City Private
Digital Self Defense 28 Feb meRIT webinar Register Open Registration
Digital Self Defense 20 March American Society for Quality, Rochester Section 0204 Register
Spectrum 2018 25-27 March Rochester Institute of Technology Register on Eventbrite Co-chair, no formal presentation, 40+ presentations and workshops over 3 days
Digital Self Defense 3 April Rochester, NY Private
It Doesn’t Take Magic: Tricks of the Trade to Create an Effective Security Awareness Program 10 Apr Preconference seminar, Baltimore, MD Register at EDUCAUSE With Tara Schaufler, Princeton University. EDUCAUSE Security Professionals Conference, Separate registration required
Different Boats for Different Folks: Tales of Security Awareness Follies and Successes 11 Apr Panel Discussion, Baltimore, MD Register at EDUCAUSE With Sandy Silk, Harvard University; Christine Bonds, Elon University; Emily Harris, Vassar College, EDUCAUSE Security Professionals Conference
Slack Workshop TBD STC PMC Virtual Workshop TBD With Sara Feldman
Summit Leadership Program 20 May STC Summit Register
Temperament-Based Strategies for Excelling in the Workplace 20 May STC Summit Preconference Workshop Register Additional registration required
The Introvert in the Workplace: Becoming an Influencer and Leader 21 May STC Summit Presentation Register
Yes and…: Improv’ing Your Corporate Communication Skills 21 May STC Summit Workshop Register With Jack Molisani; Additional fee ($20) required; limited to 20 participants per session.
Yes and…: Improv’ing Your Corporate Communication Skills 22 May STC Summit Workshop Register With Jack Molisani; Additional fee ($20) required; limited to 20 participants per session.

  • -

Introverted Leadership Reading List

Category:Introverted Leadership,Leadership,personality

In our mentoring and coaching relationships, we’ve identified several books that you may find helpful as emerging introverted leaders.

Understanding Personality and Temperament

Briggs Myers, Isabel and Myers, Peter B., Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type

Provides an easy-to-read overview of the MBTI. Important for providing the basics of Myers-Briggs Temperament theory. The MBTI focuses on the internal workings of the mind (“cognitive processes”). The MBTI delves deeply into each of the 16 types and into the layers of cognitive processes that contribute to individual personality.

 

Keirsey, David, Please Understand Me II

 

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) is more interested in observable behavior. The KTS groups the 16 personality types into 4 temperaments, and highlights the similarities between them.

 


Introversion

Cain, Susan, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Susan Cain’s book and her Quiet Revolution have helped introverts understand their strengths and their importance in the workplace. As an introvert, I found reading the book to be transformative.

 

Kahnweiler, Jennifer B., The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength, 1st Edition

Preceding Cain, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Kahnweiler provides a discussion of introversion and leadership.

 

Petrilli, Lisa, The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership

Petrilli provides a discussion of introverted leadership in the workplace and a set of tools for helping you progress.

 


Workplace Dynamics

Bradberry , Travis and Greaves, Jean, Emotional Intelligence 2.0

The importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace has seen increasing attention as companies work to help employees understand how to work together.

 

Patterson , Kerry; Grenny, Joseph; McMillan, Ron; Switzler, Al, Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition

Crucial Conversations provide exercises (including videos) of common workplace discussions and potential conflict and focuses on helping readers better understand themselves and others, so that a “win-win” is more achievable.

 

 


Verbal Communication Skills

Alda, Alan,  If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating

 

Alan Alda writes about his work with helping scientists and medical professionals communicate clearly and empathetically by using improv exercises to build stronger verbal communication.

 

 


Career and Professional Development

Slim, Pamela, Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together

Pamela Slim provides a series of steps (with a workbook) that helps us understand what we’re passionate about and how to leverage our backgrounds, desires, work histories, and passion to identify either new careers or side hustles that may be more meaningful to us than our day jobs.

 

 

What other books would you recommend?


Categories