On Vision, Leadership and Brilliance

This weekend was fabulous. Spent two days at Social Media Camp Victoria 2011, where I was not only a speaker on a panel for HR and Social Media, but was a great big sponge… soaking in information, energy and meeting incredible individuals. I have to say though, the most incredible part was attending the conference with Impact People Practices’ two interns Zeeshan Rasool and Hassan Rahim, two brilliant students from Quest University.

I set out working with them convinced I wanted to have their internship with me be not so much about what they did with Impact People Practices, but what the EXPERIENCES they would remember, the relationships they would build adn the possible window into their Leadership styles might come forth. In approaching the internship from my end with that vision, it became easy at every turn to think about how this experience would add value to them. What has transpired is a microcosm of what I believe CULTURE and ENGAGEMENT is all about.


In 6 weeks of working together, we have taken an idea- to create a social media and HR conference in Squamish BC- and turned the idea into the launch of a brand. We are ready to launch in a few short weeks, and the result loks simply BRILLIANT.  Wait until you see the social media channels, the videography, the website, and most of all, the CONTENT and approach of the conference (http://var/www/vhosts/christinemcleod.ca/everydayleader.ca.fb.com/impact99 will be our home base from which we will launch the full site July 7th)

Whether working with interns or leading a team, conducting yourself in a way that brings out brilliance in others is not always top of mind. I would like to share 6 principles I try to lead with and invite you to consider the application of any of them into your current role.

1. Have a big vision

As a leader, have a big vision that is inspiring and your team can rally around and get excited about- specific enough that it creates focus but broad enough that the story has room to evolve, and each team member can see how they can add value to that vision becoming reality.

2. Discover passions

Find out what EACH team member is passionate about- how they like to work, how they consume information, how they like to be kept in the loop. Become curious about the things that are important to THEM- not only in the project they are working on with you, but in their lives. This gives you SO much to work with when it comes to principle #3

3. Be valuable

Add value. Always. The most inspired employees are those that innately feel completely inspired and fulfilled about the work they do. The environment they work in. The boss they work for. The team they work with. Adding value as a leader is easy to do when you are on the lookout for ways to do it- subtle and sometimes imperceptibly you are always trying to move that person closer to their goals.

4. Have a results focus

Focus on Results you want to see, let them figure out how they will get there. No-one like to be micor-managed. No-one likes to be tasked with one small piece of the process then have to report back “completed” and onto the next one. The clearer you are on the outcomes you want to see, the more flexible you should be in believing that if you have done a great job hiring the right person and they are in a role where their natural talents can shine, the HOW should come largely from them.

5. Listen fully

Listen. Listen with your eyes, ears and heart. Listen for the words you hear and the body language you see. Know that by spending the majority of your time in listening more, two things happen. a) the time you DO spend talking holds more ground and b) you discover opportunities by listening well to solve problems before they appear, to engage at a new level, to add value.

6. Empower others by stepping back

Let others step into the limelight and experience success. Whether it be interns or employees, if they are working on a project for you and with you- or just put a ton of hours into something for you, make sure they not only get the credit, but wherever possible elevate them to greater visibility. One of the great gifts of leadership is the one we receive watching someone who works with us succeed at a new level… and we can step aside to proudly watch them take flight.

We are launching our IMPACT99 brand in the next 3 weeks- but if you are interested in getting in early to join the Impact99 community, you can find Zeeshan, Hassaan and myself on http://var/www/vhosts/christinemcleod.ca/everydayleader.ca.fb.com/impact99

In the meantime, let’s all continue to create more engaging workplaces!

Would love to hear your thoughts about YOUR top leadership principles… please comment below!