Leadership Strengths

This year I was selected to be a part of the Indiana Library Leadership Academy.  The program which began in 2012, is open to academic, public, school, and special librarians in Indiana.  Those selected agree to participate in the three year tiered program.

Goals of INLLA:

  • UNDERSTAND the major landscape changes within the library industry
  • RECOGNIZE the major societal and cultural changes in your community have been
  • IDENTIFY key indicators of upcoming change
  • VERIFY library stakeholders
  • COMPLETE a capstone project independently, or with Academy cohorts, which will:
  • identify a need, complete a community scan – to identify possible sources of funding, find the appropriate partners and funding, launch the project & develop a plan for sustainability)
    • MENTOR future leaders and beyond
    • LEAD as part of the Professional Development Committee Speakers’ Bureau
16 of us were selected (with only 2 school librarians).  We all spent a week together in July, in seminars on leadership, forming our groups, and beginning our projects for the year.  Since then, my group and I have met monthly via Google Hangouts as we forge onward with our project:  INSPIRE - PASS It On! Our goal is to raise awareness and usage of freely available public databases available through INSPIRE.  We all also meet monthly online for trainings and discussions.  

One of the most interesting readings assigned and discussed thus far (to me) is the book Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie.

The book included a code for taking an online assessment to identify your top five leadership strengths (out of 34).  

My strengths were shown to be 

Really, not that big of a surprise...I'm definitely known for the first two....

The real kicker came out in the detailed report:

While I often joke with teachers at school that I'm the "idea person" and it's up to them to implement and figure out all those pesky details, it was a real eye opener to see that I'm exactly right:  none of my leadership skills fall in the Executing domain.  What does that mean? 

"Leaders with dominant strength in the Executing domain know how to make things happen. When you need someone to implement a solution, these are the people who will work tirelessly to get it done.  Leaders with a strength to execute have the ability to “catch” an idea and make it a reality." from Strengths-Based Leadership Action Guide

Since I'm lacking in this, it means I need to either work to further develop in this executing area and/or I need to choose others who have this skill to help bring my ideas and projects to fruition. 

Reading specific strategies about leading with these strengths and leading others with differing strengths is fascinating to me.  I will continue to work to maximize the skills I have been given to the best of my ability so that I can be a leader and example in my school.  I've also shared this book with my administrators so they too can maximize their unique leadership strengths and lead our staff successfully.  

I truly look forward to continuing in the INLLA academy and the unique learning opportunities it has created for me.  


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