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Cultivating Your Inner Leader

by on October 20, 2016

In public libraries, most managers have an impressively broad range of duties.  Our training and background may be primarily in some audience or service specialty and our day-to-day responsibilities may still include significant quantities of work related to that area. Whatever our duties, they can leave us little time or energy to develop our supervisory, management, or leadership knowledge and skills.

To combat that drawback, I’ve added leadership-specific resources to my Twitter and RSS feeds. At times the gap between a for-profit business and the library is apparent, but more often the topics and advice are spot on. I’ve been excited to learn something new, inspired to reconsider my perspective, motivated to try a new approach, or simply encouraged by another leader’s shared vulnerability.  If you’d like a list of leadership experts to follow, start here.

One of my go-to resources is Tanveer Naseer’s blog. Naseer is an author, leadership coach, and keynote speaker. I’ve always found the entries to be thought-provoking and well-written even when they are created by guest bloggers.  They are meaty, as well, often running two to three times as long as many blog posts do. The length allows for a more in-depth look at the topic and it’s not uncommon for posts to include references to books, methodologies, or field research.

One of the aspects of his website I frequently use is the extra material that goes with each blog post. Each is extensively tagged, click on a single word and you can immediately access an entire list of related articles. In addition, at the end of each post the site lists, as links, the full titles of a few related prior posts. If you want to share what you learn about leadership, you’ll appreciate the ready-to-tweet highlights scattered through the posts.

Michael Hyatt’s website is a wholly different experience. If sales pitches or occasional references to faith would bother you, pass this one by.  Hyatt was formerly CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, and his blog is aimed primarily at people in high-pressure jobs. His site’s tagline is “Win at work. Succeed at life.” His tweets, blogs, and podcasts run the gamut, including productivity tips and tools to life hacks. “How a Small Shift in Your Vocabulary Can Instantly Change Your Attitude” is a great example of the latter and a post that I have continued to think about long after I first read it. His posts generally include specific, actionable points.

If you prefer something more philosophical, Seth Godin is all about ideas. He can look at a concept you’ve been around your whole life and take something new from it. His blog tends to focus on creativity, innovation, marketing, and how to do great work; the very short posts are designed to make you reflect.

If none of these are the right fit for you, take a few minutes to track down other leadership gurus worth following. Having a regular dose of leadership inspiration, infused with a few practical tips, helps me focus on how I can get to where I want to be and makes me believe I can get there.

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