It took me decades TRULY to understand the qualities that make for great leadership. I am still surprised at how slowly I realized that the key strengths of great leaders are not command, control, or management skills. A great leader must have the ability to spot and hire excellent people; build a passionate, committed team; liberate everyone on that team; and then trust them with the autonomy and authority to make decisions, innovate, and test their inspirations and ideas in practice.
Library leaders at all levels are, and will be, in great demand in the coming days and years. Our profession is caught in the societal turbulence that grips us all. Budgets are tight, debts are huge, and technology is forcing change in all facets of society. These challenges will demand energetic and wise leadership if our profession is to prosper. What qualities will best enable our leaders to lead successfully for themselves, their libraries, and the profession?
All of the advanced warnings were precise and dire; a mega storm was about to batter the City of Wishmere with torrential rains and gale force winds. The community’s Emergency Preparedness Task Force met earlier in the day to review and revamp its community disaster strategy, in light of the unusually severe weather forecast, and […]
Kouzes and Posner gave us the “ten truths of leadership,” and that’s important to know, but a list of the top things you should avoid doing as a leader can be just as important to your success.
The library profession’s advocacy efforts have had very little impact. Why we have not addressed this obvious problem more aggressively is a mystery. Of course, there have been some successes, especially at the local level. They have been good enough to show us that the great reservoir of public support for public libraries is still full and can be tapped. Still, the profession simply has not found a way to tap that public support to influence the political process.
Hennepin County Library is a national leader of library service, innovation and excellence. In that spirit, we were proud to host “Lead the Change! Minnesota” on August 21 at Ridgedale Library in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Staff from across HCL and other systems had a unique opportunity to engage with library directors from the seven-county Twin Cities […]
The idea that libraries need to take their services “outside the building” is well-established, from bookmobiles to digital branches. But more innovative, effective, inexpensive ways to take the library into the community are still needed. At the recent Lead the Change event in at Denver Central Library, presenter David David Bendekovic cited Southlake, TX, Public Library’s […]
Great leaders have a way of inspiring followers to believe in a cause that makes them want to change. Actually doing this is a tremendous challenge. What does it take to be that kind of leader? As I travel to conferences and libraries, I hear one particular complaint more often than others. It’s from academic […]