by Kim Stangle
For two years I was the elected board president for Orlando Rowing Club. Honestly, I had no business taking the “job,” because a few short years prior I had never even heard of the sport. But, enough people thought I could do it and pretty soon I was running the 100-member club alongside an all-volunteer board.
One of the things that always puzzled me was how many times members came to me with a problem or question and were legitimately surprised when a.) I simply responded to their inquiry, or b.) Found them an answer. This was a head-scratcher because isn’t that what leaders are supposed to do?
Two nights ago, this very idea resurfaced in a class about leadership. Our professor explained the concept of mindful leadership. To be a mindful leader, you must be attentive, focused, responsive and clear.
Aha! Not patting myself on the back here, but finally, some clarity. I may not have been the best person for the job or the most knowledgeable about rowing, but I was most certainly a mindful leader.
You don’t have to have direct reports to be a leader, either. As our professor so eloquently pointed out, leadership starts with self. Whether you want to be a better leader of others or yourself, think about what it means to be attentive, focused, responsive and clear.