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Leadership Lessons from Fusion 2011

Having recently attended the Fusion 11 conference in Washington DC, I came away with some key insights that I thought I would pass along. The event brought together the worlds of IT Service Management and Help Desk in a great mix of information sharing and learning through breakout sessions and emotion and motivation in the form of five fantastic keynotes.

One of the sessions I attended talked about being a leader in an ever globalizing world. The presenter shared her knowledge and wisdom of how to build a framework of leadership by embracing diversity and different cultures. A couple key take-aways:
  • “I’m different, like you”: Understand that we all have different cultures, backgrounds, knowledge and experience that make us important and unique individuals. Embrace the differences and use them to your advantage. It is our differences that make us similar as people trying to be successful in a complex and technology filled world.
  • “Help me understand”: Keep an open mind and spirit of learning to better grasp why someone struggles to connect with an idea or concept. Do not simply assume that someone is not capable of understanding or communicating. Place the responsibility on yourself rather than others, to make sense of a situation by working with the other person or group. Avoid forcing them to see things your way.
  • Create a Wisdom Journal: Keep a notebook of the important things you hear, see, experience and feel throughout your day as a leader. This was a practice of Leonardo da Vinci and one of the reasons he was such a greater thinker. He did not let ideas slip away. He reflected on what he captured (incubation) and turned those nuggets of knowledge and wisdom into works of genius (innovation).
Being a leader takes work, especially in the world of technology. There are many brilliant minds working to make life better for all of us. But we must keep in mind:
“If we think we are leading and no one is following, we are just going for a walk.”

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