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Delorese Ambrose

  • There are few, if any, universal paths to leadership.

  • Leadership development begins and ends with the internal developmental struggles of the individual leader. It is by integrating and learning from these crises that we gain the stamina and tools of effective leadership. In short, our blueprint for Leadership is imbedded in our own life story.

  • ... leadership is tied to conviction. Leaders have a vision of a better future, they feel strongly about the need to go there.

  • Management is aimed at maintenance. The effective manager ensures that organizational goals are met efficiently and profitably, with a minimal amount of disruption. ... Leadership is aimed at change. The effective leader inspires and empowers others to respond to challenges by using their creativity to secure the best possible future for all concerned.

  • ... one of the most demoralizing behaviors — based on employee complaints — is the failure of management to lead by example. 'Walk the talk' is now a popular adage touted by disappointed followers who observe would-be leaders displaying lofty ideals in their mission statements, while behaving in ways that are contradictory. The net result is a loss of credibility that impedes management's ability to lead.

  • ... organizational renewal must begin with personal renewal. ... To transform our organizations, our communities, or our lives, we must first transform ourselves. Leadership development, then, becomes a process of self-reflection aimed at personal growth: a journey inward.

  • There can be no leadership without a power source. Power is the fuel of leadership. The most well-conceived ideas or goals will not come to life, if we do not have the personal and/or organizational power to implement the concept. Preparing ourselves for leadership means developing both sources of our power.

  • As leaders we are most effective at promoting change when we are able to draw on both our personal power (the lessons learned from resolving life struggles) and organizational power (our position, expertise, and knowledge).

  • In leadership, as in all other aspects of life, our thoughts motivate our actions. If we concentrate on what could go wrong, we approach leadership from a position of powerlessness. This is a contradiction in terms, since power fuels leadership, and leadership breeds power.

  • The ability to envision positive outcomes is the essence of leadership.

  • Everyone, including those who proposed or implemented the change, experiences 'loss.' This may be manifested as disorientation, loss of identity, loss of security, uncertainty, or disenchantment. They may feel ambivalence about the future as they move from what was 'known' and comfortable, to what is 'unknown' and therefore less comfortable.

  • Change is typically accompanied by a temporary decline in productivity, and an increase in anxiety.

  • It is safe to say that almost all of us work in a climate where for various economic reasons we are called upon to do more with less. ... This dilemma calls forth a great deal of creativity and resourcefulness if the leader is to succeed in targeting goals. To attain his or her vision the leader must encourage others in finding new ways to reduce cost and to reach goals in the absence of sufficient human and financial resources.

  • ... many in the field of leadership development would contend that our inability to exercise leadership in valuing diversity has contributed to the steady decline of productivity that we have experienced in the workplace over the past two or three decades. Many leaders who confront the dilemma of managing and valuing diversity find that their lack of experience and sophistication in dealing with the social distance between people who are different from each other has impeded their ability to effectively motivate others and develop good interpersonal work relationships.

  • Today's organizations have consistently created a 'demotivating' environment by discouraging risk-taking, failing to include those who are 'different,' and taking the creativity, challenge and fun out of work for the masses.

  • Rugged individualism, a cherished value in American society, can cloud our vision, causing us to forget that leaders ultimately serve others.

  • ... true leadership does have a strong spiritual component. Our organizations are only as good as the people who run them. Preparation for effective leadership, then, involves preparing the soul of the leader. We must continually examine our motives for leading. The responsibility of leadership is one of shaping our own and others' lives, hopefully for the better.

  • ... men and women can learn valuable lessons of leadership from each other in today's workplace. Together as men and women we can create meaningful synergy at work if we value the specific orientations we bring. Most importantly, if as individuals, whether male or female, we become fully who we are we will incorporate those parts of ourselves that have been repressed by social conditioning.

Delorese Ambrose