Three Continents and One Grass Field
By Kristen Wheeler
Positive, healthy leadership is essential for success—success in everything, everywhere. From the board rooms of Fortune 500 companies, to non-profit organizations in second and third-world countries, to our young people in the classrooms. Our society needs it. Our world needs it.
But building leadership skills takes time and training. Comprehensive, purposeful, and planned training. This is not just a “bottom-line” investment, leadership-training is a “continual-line” investment. One that serves individuals, companies, communities, and societies well. Not just for the current quarter, but for lifetimes.
And that is precisely why Leadership-Link has been on three continents—and one grass field—this month. Comprehensive, purposeful and planned leadership-development training. Dr. Eileen Habelow, our founder and CEO, was in Europe last week, will be in Africa next week, and then returns to North America to skillfully—and deliberately—train executives, scientists, doctors, engineers, and administrators on the skills that are necessary to lead.
Our mission is to help you achieve your mission.
In Zurich, Switzerland, Eileen supported the efforts of a specialized medical team working to cure inflammatory bowel disease. Earlier this week, she facilitated workshops with companies whose missions include developing life-changing gene therapies for neurological diseases and developing small molecule drugs for viral infections and liver diseases. Today she is speaking at the NATHO national convention, an organization that helps set ethical guidelines for traveling healthcare organizations, and Friday she heads to Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) for a week-long commitment to train senior leaders with Heart for Africa, a non-profit foundation whose mission is to bring HOPE (focusing on Hunger, Orphans, Poverty and Education) to impoverished areas in Africa.
We all have a mission. Companies spend thousands of dollars wordsmithing the exact statement for their mission. This is important because mission statements define who we are professionally and fuel our reason for working hard each day.
But, a mission statement without effective leadership becomes a sentence long forgotten after on-boarding. See, the mission statement serves to steer the focus, but it is leadership that ultimately drives the success.
We, at Leadership-Link, know this, and that is why our mission is to build strong leaders for people and teams. Effective leadership is not something that just magically happens. It is a process that involves assembling a leadership tool kit—different skills for the ever-changing challenges in our workplaces. Communication, delegation, decision-making, problem-solving… these are not simple one-dimensional topics. They require exploration, role-playing, and experience-sharing. We help you hone your leadership skills the same way continuing education hones your technical skills.
Last week, while Eileen was in Zurich, Switzerland working with medical experts, I was standing on a grass field in Virginia Beach, Virginia working with high school female athletes.
I huddled my players together to assess a poor team performance during a drill. A few technical issues were discussed, and I asked the team “why”… what was causing the breakdown? After a brief pause, one player said, “I don’t know… it just seemed like a few people made mistakes, and no one really said anything, so we all just slipped in to being sloppy.”
Out of the mouths of babes. It wasn’t technical skills letting us down, it was a lack of on-field, peer-to-peer leadership.
Chances are, you have an experience that parallels this example. Have you ever been involved in a situation that needed someone to step up and lead—right away—in that moment, not wait until the boss appears, not wait and address it at the next meeting but, right then? Raise your hand if you let that moment slide because “it wasn’t really your place to say anything.”
Remember, leadership is ACTION, not position. All of us can be leaders—we just have to practice. And practice we must, because our companies, communities, and societies need healthy, positive, and effective leadership.