We want you to be a leader in your organization or department, not just a boss. So, we’re calling 2019 the year of leadership development.

We realize it’s the middle of January and all of the hot takes on professional and personal development have already been shared but here are a few of the reasons why we feel leadership development is so important:

  1. We believe there is a direct correlation between an organization’s reputation and its leadership.
  2. Excelling at the next level requires relationship-building, conflict management, strategic thinking, and presentation skills, to name a few.
  3. Leadership development boosts employee engagement and retention.

There are a couple ways to grow in your profession in 2019. Consider joining a professional networking group, sign up for a leadership development class, join a master class or find an executive coach or mentor.

For the fifth year, Schnake Turnbo Frank is continuing to advance professionals through our Leadership & Reputation Academy, an intense eight-part executive education course aimed at new and emerging leaders. We offer classes in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Bartlesville and Dallas. Learn more about Leadership & Reputation Academy.

Since 2015, more than 300 people from 100 companies have participated in our Leadership and Reputation Academy. We’re thrilled to announce we’re expanding our Leadership & Reputation Academy to the Dallas metro area. We’re partnering with Something Good Consulting Group to launch the first LRA – Dallas in January 2019.

Leadership & Reputation Academy is an intense, eight-week Executive Education course aimed at new and emerging leaders. Classes range from 25-30 diverse participants interested in advancing their leadership skills. In addition to our own time-tested, proprietary content, we draw on materials from a variety of respected sources, including the Harvard Business Review, best-selling authors, and successful corporate executives.
The program focuses on leadership development, personal growth and networking. This academy prepares emerging leaders, invests in talent development and is cost-effective compared to out-of-state business schools.

Interested in signing up for LRA-Dallas? Contact Russ Florence at russ@schnake.com or Tyler Riddell at tyler_riddell@somethinggoodcg.com. If you enroll by Jan. 2, you’ll receive an early registration discount.

I am passionate about leadership.  About being a leader and helping others be the best leader they can be.  The Harvard Business Review recently posted an article entitled Three Leadership Traits that Never Go Out of Style.  What most intrigued me about this article is that the author reflected on leadership traits he learned as a child.

I connect with this in so many ways—my family helped shape who I am today.  My wife sees the good in everyone around her and genuinely wants to help people become better. She always has the energy to offer her support and empathy. My mom is a rare blend of being compassionate and strong-willed while maintaining a great sense of humor. My step dad focused his entire professional life on helping and mentoring young people who were in trouble; his commitment to service is quietly heroic.  My sister has taught me to enjoy the moment, to avoid dreaming to such an extent that I miss out on what’s happening in front of me.  My two adult children have shown me how to love and sacrifice and put others first while my infant son has shown me how big love can truly be.  And my dad is a visionary; he teaches me to dream and to look at things from a different angle, always imagining possibilities and ways to innovate and having the courage to follow these unconventional paths no matter where they lead and no matter how silly they may seem to others.

I say this because the best leaders learn from the people they are surrounded by, whether it’s their family, coworkers, friends or mentors.  Leadership is something that is always evolving and we can never stop learning how to be a better leader.

The HBR article pinpointed three leadership traits: trust, empathy and mentorship.

  1. Does your team trust you? Trust makes people feel empowered.
  2. Are you emotionally intelligent—did you notice the look of anxiety in your teammate’s eyes this morning?
  3. Would you be where you are today if you weren’t mentored? “There was no great player who didn’t want to be coached.” – Pat Riley, NBA Coach

These are all traits I see in my family and every leader should grasp onto them. Be trustworthy, know how your team is feeling and mentor others.

There is one item I learned from my family and mentors that is not on the list – responsibility. Great leaders should take responsibility for their actions and take ownership of their mistakes.  A leader isn’t supposed to know it all, we’re human and we need to be vulnerable.

No matter what situation you’re in, whether you’re the CEO of a fortune 500 company or the intern at a small non-profit, keep these traits in mind and always remember to be real.

Posted by Aaron Fulkerson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer