The Art of Leadership: A Conversation with Vanessa Judelman
As a podcast host, I’ve had the privilege of engaging in enlightening conversations with a variety of experts. Recently, I had the pleasure of hosting Vanessa Judelman, a seasoned coach and leadership expert, on my show. Our discussion revolved around the importance of leadership principles and ideas, and how they shape effective leaders.
From Teaching to Leadership Coaching: Vanessa’s Journey
Vanessa’s journey into leadership coaching is an inspiring one. She began her career as a teacher before transitioning into the training and consulting world. Her experiences working with leaders across various organizations eventually led her to start her own business. Her passion for developing leaders was ignited by her own negative experience with a less-than-stellar boss.
The Three Pillars of Leadership Success
During our conversation, Vanessa introduced her framework of three pillars of leadership success: know yourself, manage your team, and lead your business. She emphasized the complexity of leadership and the need for leaders to prioritize and focus their time on these three areas. I couldn’t agree more. Many leaders struggle with the demands and questions that come with their role. Having clarity on which aspect of leadership a particular issue falls under can help alleviate stress and improve focus.
The Power of Personal Vision
We also discussed the importance of creating a personal vision for one’s role and taking ownership of it, rather than waiting for direction from others. This is a crucial aspect of strategic execution and alignment in leadership. Leaders need to have a clear vision for their team and understand their responsibilities within the organization. Regular check-ins with their boss or key stakeholders can ensure alignment and validate their understanding of their role.
Strategic Thinking and Planning: The Key to Innovation
Strategic thinking and planning are vital in driving innovation and challenging the status quo. Many leaders get caught up in day-to-day tasks and fail to dedicate time for strategic thinking. Vanessa and I recommend setting aside quarterly meetings to discuss what is working, what needs improvement, and to make necessary adjustments to the vision and goals.
The Transition from Tactical Execution to Strategic Thinking
Transitioning from tactical execution to strategic thinking can be challenging for leaders. It’s important to let go of previous responsibilities and empower the team to handle execution while the leader focuses on strategic initiatives. However, leaders should be cautious against constantly changing goals and objectives, as it can create confusion and hinder progress. Regular accountability meetings with the team can help track progress, discuss action steps, and provide support.
Cutting Through Complexity
In large corporate environments, complexity is often the norm. Leaders need to cut through this complexity and provide clarity. Simplifying and focusing on the key objectives that will lead to success is crucial.
The Importance of Being a Prepared Leader
Effective meeting management is a key aspect of being a prepared leader. I suggest that leaders should demand to see the agenda before deciding whether or not to attend a meeting. This can help cut out unnecessary meetings and free up time for more productive work. Vanessa added that time management is actually self-management, and leaders should focus on being present and fully engaged in meetings rather than multitasking.
The Myth of Multitasking
We both agreed that multitasking is not effective and that it’s important to eliminate distractions and give full attention to the task at hand. The concept of multitasking being a myth, as the brain can only focus on one thing at a time, was also discussed.
Our conversation ended with me providing contact information for Vanessa’s website and encouraging listeners to reach out to both of us for more information and resources on leadership development. This enlightening conversation with Vanessa Ullman was a reminder of the complexity and importance of effective leadership. It’s my hope that these insights will inspire and guide you in your leadership journey.
Vanessa Judelman is the President of Mosaic People Development. For over 20 years, Vanessa has been helping clients to develop leaders who inspire great results. She is a speaker, facilitator, leadership consultant, and certified executive coach.
Having worked “in the trenches” herself as a leader, she teaches her clients a very practical approach to leadership that she has used to develop her own high-performing teams.
Over the years, she has trained and coached thousands of people to transition from “doers” to leaders. She works with leaders to give them the tools and strategies they need to feel confident, be more self-aware, be team-focused, and be strategic.
She’s authored a book – ‘Mastering Leadership – What It Takes To Lead In Today’s Fast-Paced World’– about leadership and led her own teams.
Vanessa has had the privilege of developing leaders in organizations like Campbells Soup, The United Nations, HelloFresh, SickKids, and the Bank of Montreal.
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