by Chris Lambert
Our mentors are crucial to the transformation taking place in those of us participating in LeadUP. We gain knowledge during the sessions, but they help us apply what we’ve learned.
I gave much consideration to choosing my mentor. In the end, it became rather obvious and simple. Few in state government have as much recent experience in change management as Lucinda Meltabarger. Since being named administrator of the Human Capital Management Division of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services in 2011, she has restructured her office and played a major role in the consolidation of several smaller agencies into OMES.
In only a short time, Lucinda has already had a greater impact upon me than I could have imagined. While discussing my 360-degree evaluation, she noted I was quick to focus on one or two negatives that were greatly outnumbered by my strengths. I began noticing how often I do this, and particularly how it affected my self-perception.We spent more than a month discussing authentic leadership. Over the course of several visits, Lucinda helped me consider:
- My definition of authentic leadership;
- When I have observed it, and;
- How I define myself as a leader.
She considered these conversations, and then drafted my leadership vision statement.
I strive to be an authentic leader; one who is engaged and transparent.
- A Doer – I can be relied on to get things done;
- A Builder – I believe in making people, processes and things better than I found them;
- Competent – I know what to do and when to do it. It is important that I do the right thing, and do things right;
- Curious – I want to know how things work. This knowledge helps me balance “how we’ve always done it” with prudent change for the better; and
- Responsible – I accept responsibility for when things go wrong and then move positively toward correcting them. I am honest about my role, and look toward not repeating mistakes in the future.
As a leader, I foster an environment where my team members can question, take risks and work positively toward solutions.
I’ve since shared this with my staff and peers, as they will be the first ones to see whether my behaviors are incongruent with my vision. Because I trust them, they are exactly the people I want – and need – to help me be accountable.
I’ve found being mentored is hard work. It’s caused me to re-evaluate how I think about things, my behaviors and my plans. We’ve started digging chapter by chapter into “Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change,” one of the Session Two books. I can’t wait to see what is yet to come.