Look at any job description for leaders at any level and there it is under essential qualifications: excellent communication skills. Recent leadership literature suggests there’s more to it than being a good listener and an articulate speaker.
Leading from the Library
We look to our leaders to enable us to get things done. We look to them for vision and inspiration, but we also want leaders who make progress and get our organization to the place where the vision becomes reality. What sometimes gets overlooked is the need to create a workplace where people want to be while all the work is getting done.
Fortune’s Greatest Leaders List is one of its special reports that I look forward to, not only for the satisfaction of seeing who made the list but also to see what new nuggets of inspiration can be drawn from the profiles. You rarely find profiles of the greatest leaders all in one space. I admit to being curious about what makes them great and what wisdom those profiles might offer.
Great leaders have some talents that can’t be quantified and may be more intuitive than learned. Among them, the great ones have an ability to connect separate pieces of information to form a useful pattern. But there may be ways to get better at that.
A flurry of studies, reports, and articles are pointing to new findings about gender and leadership. Men and woman bring different strengths to the practice of leadership. Let’s avoid arguing about who’s better, and focus instead on how the sexes can learn from each other and improve as leaders.
There’s leadership. Then there’s library leadership. Or is there? Is being a leader in a library so different that it is a leadership entity unique unto itself? A library leader is ultimately, a leader who performs their work in a library, but what makes him or her a leader is not unique to the library setting.