Learn by doing … and reading

I appreciate the Mintzberg quote above for its implication that leadership is a practice. But, I also think we can learn by not only doing, but, well, by learning from others through reading and reflection. Our alumni book club seeks to engage discussions on leadership through books that examine and enlighten views on leadership and connections.

Their current selection, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg. Here’s a Forbes review of the book from 2013, if you’re interested in learning more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/03/04/10-things-sheryl-sandberg-gets-exactly-right-in-lean-in/#157f36567ada

At the current Aspiring Leaders cohort’s retreat, Marge shared a book recommendation: Bad Leadership by Barbara Kellerman. (Available in the Lane Library stacks.) The book explores a missing piece in many leadership books: the bad leader, seeks to define bad leadership and what we can learn from it. In each chapter, Kellerman evaluates a different trait of a “bad leader” and offers the reader a view of that trait through the lens of a leader in history.

Not sure you want to spend your free time reading about bad leaders? What about bee leaders? Bees have secret lives and lessons to teach us about leadership. “The Wisdom of Bees: What The Hive Can Teach Business About Leadership, Efficiency, And Growth” by Michael O’Malley is also available in the Lane Library. Here’s an article by O’Malley in Psychology Today on lessons we can learn from bees on decison-making: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-wisdom-bees/201006/why-bees-dont-make-stupid-decisions-and-we-do

Have you started a reading list for the break or books to tackle in 2018? Let us know what you’re reading or your recommendations by replying.

Weekly Update

Thanks to those of you who have provided feedback about the Aspiring Leaders program via the survey. It’s still up – and will be up through the end of 2017. Your feedback assists with continual improvement at the college and is appreciated.

Here are a few more comments that have come in:

Q: How would you describe Aspiring Leaders to an employee unfamiliar with the program?

Program which says it’s a leadership development sequence, but mostly a networking opportunity.


Q: If you could experience one seminar or day of Aspiring Leaders again, what would it be and why?

Quality time with the president reflecting and talking about BIG, possibly even sensitive, issues that individuals feel must be tackled/addressed in order for Lane CC to be all it can be. I think this lets aspiring leaders see the college’s leader as a human being with thoughts and feelings and worries like the rest of us, and allows us to get to the business of solution-finding… at least temporarily… on an equal plane.


Q: What would you like the Aspiring Leaders program planners to keep in mind when making decisions about potential changes to Aspiring Leaders programming?

Consider adding outcomes for the program to make it more cohesive; tie sessions to leadership; encourage personal goal setting and reflection throughout.

Weekly Challenge

This is a revisit of the first challenge: reflect on your core values. The holidays are a time of reflection for many. Take the time to reflect on your core values and revisit your own mission statement. Is your work and daily practice a reflection of those values and your personal mission?


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