Working Out Loud: The Friday Roundup (1/22/16)
Working Out Loud: The Holy Sh*t! Edition

3 Questions for Career Leadership

One of the videos we're using for the Leadership Lab is this TedTalk from Roselinde Torres on what it takes to be a great leader. 

In it, she identifies 3 questions that 21st century leaders should be asking themselves that I think apply to all of us who want to take charge of our careers. 

Where are you looking to anticipate change? 

Torres says:

Great leaders are not heads down, they see around corners, shaping the future not just reacting to it. 

She suggests that we need to always be asking ourselves these questions:

  • Who are you spending time with?
  • On what topics and questions?
  • What are you reading? 
  • Where are you traveling?
  • How are you distilling all that you learn from these things, looking for the implications for your work and your life and then taking action NOW?


These questions are particularly important to our work world. So much is changing so quickly that if we are not acting in more future-oriented ways, we are likely to be left behind. It's critical that we develop our capacity to "see around corners" if we want to continue to grow in our careers. 

What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional networks? 

Here, we need to be asking ourselves about our capacity to develop relationships with people who are very different than we are. We have a strong tendency to associate with people just like us, but our best work and life happens when we are able to have diverse connections and are able to nurture relationships with people who see things differently than we do. 

Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past? 

What a fantastic question!

Part of what can make us less resilient, less able to adapt to changing conditions is our inability to let go of what has made us successful in the past. This question invites us to be aware of how past practices that worked well in one environment may not be helping us in a new situation. Too often we become wedded to what has always worked and it becomes impossible for us to move forward because we cling to habits that no longer serve us. 


I invite you reflect on these 3 questions as they relate to your career and life--what emerges for you in the process? 


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This is excellent. One of the things I'm doing now is looking for support for expanding apprenticeships. After speaking with businesses, I realize that they are not comfortable with spearheading an initiative. I have to look to organizations with people that are feeling the pain of lack of opportunity. This leads me to organizations like the NAACP.

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