A new year means a new leadership topic for Jeff Van Fleet, Lighthouse President and CEO. In his first column of 2016, he’s digging deep into an important topic: the importance of being present in our conversations.
|We can choose to be present when we are talking with someone. We can choose to listen and ask good questions. We can choose to be honest and genuine.
As the New Year is starting, I encourage you to consider this as one of your resolutions.
Happy New Year! I hope January is starting off down your preferred path.
I had an opportunity this week to talk with a truly genuine leader. You know how sometimes you meet someone who resonates with you, and you think “I want to be more like them”? Well, that’s exactly what happened.
As we are growing here at Lighthouse, we’ve been reaching out to and setting appointments with VPs and CIOs that lead software organizations-which put me in contact with a VP of Quality Assurance who leads a team of over 200 testing and QA professionals. I only spoke to him for thirty minutes, but his presence impacted me so much that I wanted to share it with you.
Now to put this in perspective, I meet with 100-200 new IT leaders a year. And while most are reasonable people, a lot tend to be vague, non-committal, and not always invested in the conversation at hand (given the fires these folks are constantly fighting, I can understand why their minds can sometimes wander!). So you can understand my excitement when I meet someone who stands above the rest!
This VP is obviously a very busy person, but nonetheless he was exceptionally patient and engaged throughout our entire conversation — listening well, asking me good questions, and explaining his organization and goals. Everything he said felt honest and straight-forward, but what struck me most was how he was both genuine and direct. That is really rare! Even if we don’t get the chance to work together, I got a short and sweet reminder about how to treat people—and for that I’m tremendously thankful.
I think we can all learn from this experience. We can choose to be present when we are talking with someone. We can choose to listen and ask good questions. We can choose to be honest and genuine. As the New Year is starting, I encourage you to consider this as one of your resolutions. Think about how you impact people around you—your co-workers, your friends, and your family. Think about the difference we can make by treating each other with dignity and respect!
I wish you the very best for this New Year; and my hope is that my writings this year help encourage and remind all of us to think bigger so that we become better leaders and better people.
Keep having fun,