20: Leaders with Heart Fill Their Calendar with Relationship-Building, Not Tasks

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Today on the podcast we have Megan Wick, Executive Director of Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority.

In this episode, we talk about

  • how emotional intelligence can be learned and is an evolving skill,
  • the importance of self-management when it comes to our emotions, and
  • her journey as a leader – the ups and the downs, and how she learned to “lean in.”

She shares stories of times when she was not the Leader with Heart she is today, and that it is a journey to better leadership. She didn’t just arrive, but is growing through hard work.

Megan believes in begin present as a leader and in listening to her people and mentoring them. She makes an eye-opening admission about the types of interactions that make her feel threatened. Megan also speaks a lot about value congruency in that she makes this her north start both at home and at work. 

Experienced executive with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Event Management, Management, and Leadership. Strong community and social services professional with a M.Ed. focused in Educational Policy, Research and Administration.

“I Do My Best Work When I Am Involved”

Megan did her master’s degree in higher education, and as a student affairs person, she did and received a lot of personality assessments.

I would say that one of them had an outcome that really resonated with me around how I became a leader and why I’m a leader.

I think it has to do with work and what work means to me.

Work to me is not “I go to work for an income, or to punch the clock” or something you do during the day.

To me, work has to be intimate, has to be something I really believe in; it has to be something that I care a lot about. Otherwise, I’m not motivated to succeed.

I’ve always been in positions where I was personally connected, or cared a lot about what I was doing. When you care a lot and you are motivated internally to do good work because what you’re doing is so important to you, I think leadership naturally is evident.

People connect to you, they see a passion in you, and I think people tend to connect more with that type of #leadership. Click To Tweet

I tend to do my best work when I am involved. I have to be central to something versus being on the outside of something. I think over the course of my career, I inserted myself into processes and challenges and projects because that’s my way of staying connected and staying motivated.

When you do what you love doing, you are good at it, because you care. #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

The Imperfect Leader

Congruency is huge for me; it’s essential to who I am; it’s essential to me personally, intimately, as a mom.

One thing that I focused on a lot is self-management and my emotional intelligence. Knowing yourself and being able to manage yourself are two very different skill sets as I’ve learned. Click To Tweet

I know a lot about myself, but being able to recognize those things in the moment and manage them, has been a very, very long journey.

So I would say that anytime that I lose self-management, I’m not the best leader I can be.

There have been big and small instances of this over my leadership journey. When that happens, I move too quickly, I become impatient, I become less sensitive or become too direct, and then I begin to erode trust.

Leaning In

What do you do when you’re not at your best? You lean in.

One thing that has helped me in managing this and coming through some of these issues when I lose my self-management is – I don’t know when this happened for me, but I realized that I had to lean in to feedback and see feedback as a vehicle for Gamma Phi Beta or for the organization.

It’s not feedback about me failing or me not being perfect or not being a good leader, but seeing feedback as “This is making me better for what I’m doing, so I should be open to that at all times because that can make me better for Gamma Phi Beta and better for everyone.”

When she stopped fearing feedback and started really leaning into it and encouraging it and really believing in it, and implemented it immediately, it gave her so much relief.

It was a huge relief to me emotionally and professionally, to really be able to say, “This was not my best moment” and invite people to say, “This was not your best moment” and realize that this was an opportunity for me to not do that again.

When you make a mistake, try to evolve and adapt instead of shutting down and not being responsive or open. #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

As leaders, it’s not about perfection; it’s about continuous improvement. #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Fill your calendar with relationships. #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet




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