Jeni Herberger’s Tips for Effective Leadership
Last week, I had the honor of attending AIGA’s National Leadership Retreat as a representative for the Arizona chapter of AIGA. I’m the Tucson VP, leading a team of great volunteers as we work to build a stronger, more visible design community in Tucson. Being in an AIGA leadership role over the past two years has taught me a lot about motivating people, working with groups, and how to inspire action. I’ve tried some things that have failed, and I have refined my approach. I’ve sensed along the way that you have to be a different type of leader to different people and having the flexibility to change your style to fit the situation is important for success.
The second day of the retreat we attended a three-hour leadership workshop lead by Jeni Herberger, Managing Partner of the Fulcrum Agency. She put into words some of the ideas I’ve been sensing, and now I’m going to share a few of her tips with you.
1. Influencers are clear about the results they want and how they want to measure them
- When you’re assigning someone a task, prepare beforehand
- Ask the person to repeat back what you’ve asked them to do to make sure you have explained it well
- Set a timeline with checkpoints
- Define the level of authority you are giving a person on a specific task
2. Run effective meetings
- Before you have a meeting, decide if you really, truly need one. Don’t just meet for the sake of meeting; it’s a time waster. If you are meeting only to share information, send a memo instead.
- At the end of the meeting, the leader should summarize the main points and ask if anything has been missed
3. Choose your attitude
- Choose to have fun and lead by example
Bonus Tip: Perfect Your Leadership Recipe
Jeni Herberger’s recipe for effective leadership is
– 2 parts authoritative leadership style
– 1 part democratic leadership style
– 1 part a mixture of coercive, affiliative, coaching and pace setter leadership styles
These tips barely begin to cover the practical ideas that we learned at the AIGA Leadership Retreat, but I hope that by sharing them, you and I can both be stellar leaders.
Side note: This AIGA Leadership Retreat presentation was the third time I have had an opportunity to see Jeni Herberger speak. I’ve also attended her presentations on being authentically yourself in business and how to lead an in-house design department that is valued by the company. She’s great! I highly recommend attending one of her workshops if you can.