Leadership learning is a continuous process. The more you learn leadership lessons, the more you find out there is more to learn. Hence, we are called to continue learning about leadership wherever we are, whatever we do.
There a lot of learning opportunities. One area of leadership learning I have is in what I do as a professional speaker, trainer, author, and seminar leader. When appropriate and aligned, I would combine my personal professional projects with my personal Toastmasters projects. One of these was my project to write and publish a public speaking book which I used as my Pathways High Performance Leadership (HPL) project. (Pathways is the new educational program in Toastmasters, and HPL is one of the Level 5 projects.)
With the help of my team and with God’s grace, we had a successful seminar and book launch last September 1. (SPEAK: How to Craft and Deliver a Speech or Presentation with Competence and Confidence)
Through the years and with this recent project I had, I learned about four concepts that are relevant in leadership. These concepts must be understood, appreciated, and applied in our leadership journey.
First, the concept of creativity. Each person is creative and we are called to create things of beauty, things of value. Yes, all of us. I say this because nobody has a monopoly of creativity, of ideas.
Let us not be bound by the thinking that only a few are creative. At first, I had this misconception that only the painters, graphic artists, dancers and the like are creative. I was wrong. There are many forms of art and there are many forms of creativity.
Let us also not be bounded by the thinking that when others did something seemingly similar, you can no longer do what is yours. I have been contemplating about writing a book on public speaking and on confidence. A couple of months ago, my friend released her book on conquering stage fright while another friend is now writing one on speech communication. I asked myself, “Will I still write mine? Isn’t this similar as theirs?” After some time, I knew the answer: I will still write mine because my content would be different, my approach would be different, my angle would be different. It turns out, these three books, and all other books on this subject are not going to compete with each other, but rather, they will complement each other.
Therefore, embrace your own creativity and the creativity of other people.
In writing my book SPEAK, I had to enlist editors (Maria Agnes and Alexis Avery Garcia) who cleaned the dirt in my manuscript,
I requested a proofreader (Augustin Dao-anis) to fine comb the copy.
I also realized we can create more art and value during the book launch with more people contributing their own individual content and creativity.
(I thank my event team: Lois Belingon for hosting the program; Russel Beligan for taking care of the sounds;
Clar, Chaste and Genevie for manning the registration and book table;
Dr. Sonja Chan, Andrea Cola, Jamie Yaneza, and Lois Belingon for being my panel speakers;
my proofreader who also took photos; Hotel Veniz staff for the floor and stage setup; Occasions Party Needs Shop for the pillar balloons; my family for the support; and myVangie for being my event manager, marketing manager, and many other things.)
If people saw creativity in the book and in the book launch, it is because of this team of creatives.
Second, the concept of compounding. You may be thinking about the compounding interest of your investment that is growing through time. You are right. The power of compounding does not only apply to finances, it applies to other areas of life.
Be reminded that the power of compounding does not happen overnight, it happens over time. The thought of writing a public speaking book has been in my heart and mind years ago. But I am still happy that is was only now that I was able to do it because the learning I had through the years has been compounding and it will continue to grow even more in the years to come. My idea of SPEAK, of GROWTH Summit, and many other workshops has been with me all those years, planted in the my young heart and mind. With continuous learning and the power of compounding, those seeds are now slowly sprouting in their right times. There is more to my vision and I don’t know when it will be fulfilled but I know it will, most likely not by me alone.
Hence, keep on planting. Hold on to the visions, to the dreams, to the plans you have.
Third, the concept of clarity. Clarity is power. Be clear with your vision, be clear with your plans. Be clear with what you communicate. With the tight deadline we had in this project, I had to identify the specific dates when writing, editing, proofreading, and printing should be done.
Be clear with your expectations from your team.Last Saturday, before the book launch while we were having lunch, I had to give clear instructions to my registration team, emphasizing what needs to be prepared first.
Without clarity, there can be chaos. In my previous events in the past, while it was not that chaotic, there were several things that did not go as planned because I was assuming the team already knew what was expected of them. As the leader, I always have to remind myself of the importance of clarity.
All of these starts with a clear vision. But do not give up the vision if it seems unclear. Continuously clarify. The way to do it is to start implementing small portions of your grand plan. Because action breeds clarity.
Fourth, the concept of collaboration. Collaboration makes everyone win. We are called to collaborate not to compete. Again, nobody has the monopoly of creativity. What the other person will create shall complement the other person’s output.
But collaboration does not mean the journey will be smooth sailing. Some team members may not agree with you. But you can disagree without leading to disagreement. We can agree to disagree but we still are a team. We have one goal after all.
Again, the concepts of creativity, compounding, clarity, and collaboration are relevant in leadership. May these concepts be made concrete in our choices, in what we do in our lives. We may fail and falter at times but such phase is not final. Let us continue, therefore, to sow seeds of leadership because some seeds will not grow, some may grow but may die after a while, while the rest will grow, flourish, and bear fruits.
Together, let us continue to learn about leadership.
Speak a message, spark inspiration, spur action!
(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM is a communication & leadership trainer, inspirational speaker, and author. For training or speaking invitations, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)