“Responsive leaders are very focused on the people – the humanity – within the opportunity,” explains Jackie Jenkins-Scott, in her book, The 7 Secrets of Responsive Leadership.
She writes about how to drive change, manage transitions, and help any organization turn around. And, she reflects heavily on her personal leadership journey, which included transforming a major urban healthcare center and a college from struggling and failing organizations to thriving, international leaders in their respective fields.
Jenkins-Scott believes that the strongest leaders have these characteristics:
- Curiosity: A desire to continuously learn, discover, and grow intellectually.
- Humility: A sincere regard for the reality that we cannot go it alone.
- Empathy: The ability to feel and appreciate other human beings.
- Resilience: The capacity to recover, to keep going forward in the face of adversity.
One of my favorite parts of the book is Jenkins-Scott’s observations about how to remove barriers when communicating.
She explains that when you use a desk, the angle of your body, a mobile phone, or anything else as a wedge between you and another person, you send a signal that you are closing yourself off on some level.
Therefore, while you are in a meeting of any size, be aware that invitational body language – that is, reducing or eliminating barriers – is an excellent, nonverbal way to communicating, “I’m listening.”
Add, The 7 Secrets of Responsive Leadership, book to your list of books to read in 2021.