Leadership: What Matters

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.

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