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Perspectives on Leadership

Last week, I shared the importance of looking outside our agency for leadership inspiration. Whether we do a book study, online research, or look to other organizations, it is important as leaders that we continually renew and analyze leadership. As I shared last time, my niece recently moved to a new job with a new company. Her experiences with leadership between her old job and her new job have been very telling. I’ve enjoyed listening to her experiences and thinking about the impact of hearing from others as we continue to develop and think about our own leadership skills.

On Friday, we were driving back to Austin and she was working remotely during the drive (another interesting and proactive work experience). She said, “I need to do my 3Ps.” So, I asked what the 3Ps were. She said each Friday, they submit a brief reflection to their direct supervisor. She shares her Plans for the next week, discusses her Progress for the week that is ending, and lets her supervisor know of any Problems she is experiencing. I asked if it was a meaningful experience and if her supervisor looked at them. She said that it was a good process and that it was meaningful and valued by both her and her supervisor.

I noted that it wasn’t cumbersome or timely. I also noted that it was valued. As leaders, it is important for us to have a system in place that lets us check in with our staff so that we are aware of needs, celebrations, and actions. The process can’t be burdensome, must have value and purpose, and must lead to increased understanding and support of our agency’s work. I am not suggesting that each leader must adopt the 3Ps. Rather, I am sharing the importance of communicating in an efficient and meaningful way that lets our staff know we care and will respond with support. It’s not about micromanaging. It is about empowering and bringing forth knowledge and support. As leaders, we have a responsibility to lead.

By Cathy Jones Parks