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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, December 31, 2017 1:00 am

Recalling best leadership ideas from 2017

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

The last few hours of any year can easily be spent looking ahead to the future, but they are also a good time to reflect on the past, such as lessons learned.

To close out the year, I decided to share some of the most memorable thoughts I heard or read during 2017, including some I have not previously included in Lead On.

• On role modeling and mentoring: “You want to know how I know you're awesome is how many legendary leaders have you produced. Producing duplicate copies is leadership at its best.” From Derek Young, one of the speakers at Habitat for Humanity's local Build on Faith leadership conference in February. Young lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is president of Young Motivational Group.

• “Are you adding value to people or are you wanting people to add value to you? There's a thin line in leadership. ... There's a thin line between motivating people and manipulating people.” From author John C. Maxwell, one of the speakers at this year's two-day Global Leadership Summit in August.

• “Leadership is influence. As a result, leaders have a disproportionate ability to impact a person's life in either a positive or negative way. A great leader can make us think we can accomplish anything. Bad leaders can destroy our confidence and self-image.” From Brian Dodd, a church leadership coach, blogger and author of “The 10 Indispensable Practices Of The 2-Minute Leader.”

• Regarding not being idle or complacent: “Are you working? What are you working on? Is it working?” From my pastor, the Rev. Anthony R. Pettus Sr., during one of the monthly vision and leadership meetings at Greater Progressive Baptist Church.

• “Anybody who agrees to be a manager is a saint, because there are a lot of really tough people in the world, and if you can agree to manage them, I bow my head to you,” Mary Legakis Engel, a CEO and certified coach who was among experts interviewed for a “Crack the Leadership Code” podcast series released in June.

• “Leadership is as much an inner game as it is an outer game,” From Christina Boyd-Smith, author of “Lead and Succeed in Your 9-5 Without Sacrificing Your Soul.” She was also interviewed for the “Crack the Leadership Code” podcasts.

• On grit, that rugged determination that won't let you quit: “You have to lead when no one else follows. It's easy to set a direction and believe in yourself when you have support, but the true test of grit is how well you maintain your resolve when nobody else believes in what you're doing. People with grit believe in themselves no matter what and they stay the course until they win people over to their way of thinking.” From Travis Bradberry, through an old Inc. magazine article the training organization Leadercast recirculated via email in October.

• On believing you can, even if others think you can't: Quit “believing what 'they' say. You know, the 'they' who is never defined, yet an authority on everything. 'They' said you couldn't make it. 'They' said you aren't smart enough. 'They' said that no other woman has ever tried to do what you want to do.” From Fort Wayne attorney Dawn Rosemond's book, “Boss Presence: 100, Ok 50, Ok Some Tips for We Bad Chicks to REIGN at Work.” Rosemond is a partner at Barnes & Thornburg. She released “Boss Presence” last year. I interviewed Rosemond early this year about the book and her ongoing REIGN leadership training.

• On taking initiative, even if you don't have a title: “Leadership is a choice, but the sense of autonomy, initiative and responsibility, everyone in the workplace can possess that.” From author John Baldoni, during a telephone interview before his April speaking engagement in Fort Wayne for the Foellinger Foundation's Ernest E. Williams Lecture. 

Cheers to better leadership in 2018, based on what we were exposed to in 2017.

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at Lead On also appears online as a blog at