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  • Writer's pictureVicki Ryan

Part 1: Leadership skills

This is part 1 of a 4-part blog series featuring insights from leaders on leadership. Each leader was asked questions designed to learn about their ways of working, ways of being and ways they lead others.

Below you will see the candid, poignant, funny and verbatim responses that are powerful in their simplicity and earnestness. You may choose to read them all 4 parts today or come back for moments of inspiration and encouragement. Before you dive in, have pen and paper handy. After reading the question that begins each blog, jot down your responses to the questions, then see what these leaders shared.


What are two or three leadership skills, traits or characteristics you focus on every day?


Before you read the responses, try answering this question for yourself. Then when you read what these leaders have to say, go back and reread it as a checklist or assessment of your own leadership best practices.


VR thoughts: The leaders responded far beyond the “standard issue” responses such as time management, showing care, driving strategy. Here is what these leaders had to say...

  • Emotional intelligence. Listening with genuine interest. Asking meaningful questions.

  • I remind myself that, as a leader, I am being watched. I am a role model. This helps me “stand up straight” and model behaviors including strength, compassion, curiosity, fairness, punctuality, drive, positivity and energy. I’m open to networking with everyone, regardless of level or if I need something from them.

  • Connecting. Caring. Taking risks.

  • Saying yes to opportunities and then being fully present, really there and listening in every interaction despite the distractions.

  • My desk faces the window and I use sticky notes on the shutters to capture all kinds of things from quotes, goals, tactics, a way to improve my professional self, and, of course, the plumber’s phone number.

  • I count my blessings and say “get over yourself” to myself to be less self-involved. And I appreciate how fortunate I am to be surrounded with wonderful people and do work that I love.

  • Willingness to change myself and admitting mistakes. Reminding myself that I don’t have all the answers. What’s more important is to ask questions and listen. To care for others and to ask for feedback from people who will be honest with me.

Please comment and/or share your thoughts below. You never know who may benefit from your story the way these leaders have inspired so many, me included. Thank you for leading, learning and growing.


My most sincere gratitude to the leaders who have shared their insights, feedback, and coaching including Anne, Connie, Diane, Dick, Jack, Laura, Linda, Pam, Rob and Roy.

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