Truths for Effective Leadership from the PRSA Counselors Academy

June 27th, 2011

Colleen Flood*

On Friday, May 13, I had the pleasure of attending the session, 20/20 Hindsight: Timeless Truths for Effective Leadership lead by Mimi Meredith, Goodness Grows, at the annual PRSA Counselors Academy.

Everyone makes mistakes – particularly when it comes to building and forging relationships. These can be any sort of relationship, but it is equally true for PR and communications professionals looking to connect with their business associates and audiences, as well as great leaders.

Obstacles to Great Leadership

  • Assumptions
  • What you understand
  • Who you understand

Often when building relationships we allow our assumptions to get in the way. We self-project on individuals (“I think therefore you are”). This saves us time, but we never really get to know people. Since we were children we were told to “treat others they way we want to be treated” and it has become the platinum rule for business and employee engagement.

Great leaders don’t equate understanding with agreement. They speak to be understood.  They learn by assessing what people already understand, limit by taking the ‘me’ or unnecessary information out of the conversation, look by checking out body language and test to see if you are getting through by asking “what do you think?” or “what are your takeaways?”

Great leaders don’t treat employees like they themselves want to be treated. They move beyond preconceptions of people. In essence, great leaders allow people to be beyond what we label them.

What do you see as being some the obstacles of great leadership? And how do you suggest moving past them? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.


*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce

2 Responses to “Truths for Effective Leadership from the PRSA Counselors Academy”

  1. Colleen, what a privilege to be featured in your post today! I loved the CAPRSA event.

    Even as I continue to seek ways to broaden my understanding and have more experiences related to leadership, I find that these two simple elements–what we assume and how quickly we replace our assumptions with true understanding built on effective listening–are the keys to successful leadership.

    So glad to know you found these takeaways to be of value!

  2. Colleen Flood says:

    Thanks Mimi, it was a pleasure to meet you and attend your session. You provided valuable information and the two simple elements you mention are good reminders!

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