Balanced, Open, and Empathetic
Balance is a key element of strong leadership. There are times when it’s important to speak and make sure my voice is heard. At other times, it’s more important to listen. There are situations when I need to be firm and others when I need to be flexible. The line between providing guidance and micro-managing can be tricky so I try to strike that delicate balance of showing someone how I do things and making it clear what the end result needs to be, but then providing them the freedom to find their own way. Sometimes their way ends up being better than mine!
Another important element for me is openness. Literally, my door is open if anyone needs me. I also try really hard to be approachable and relatable to my staff, as I want them to feel comfortable coming to me with any issues or challenges they may be experiencing. Another aspect of openness is transparency. I like for my staff to know what I’m working on and what challenges I’m facing. They often provide a fresh perspective and great input to help push me toward a successful resolution. This level of openness fosters great communication and mutual respect.
Empathy is another element that has always been a natural strength of mine and I believe has served me well in a leadership role. There are so many different personalities, backgrounds, and lifestyles in any workplace environment. It’s really worthwhile to try to understand your staff’s motivations, challenges, constraints, strengths, and goals, and to provide support and flexibility when you can to help them find success.
Lesley Guillot, AIA, CSI, NCARB, LEED AP
Vice President, Buddy Webb & Company
Fishing retail shop Modern Outdoor Tackle moved; Healthy Spot LLC opened; and Springfield law firm Strong, Garner & Bauer PC changed names and moved its office.