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Sink or Swim?

Sink or Swim

This past Thursday, the IEE hosted CEO of Development Dimensions International (DDI), Tacy M. Byham, Ph.D., where she discussed and prepared first-time leaders for their path to success. In her training, Tacy touches upon several points of view about becoming a leader and further elaborates by providing tips along with each point for incoming leaders:

  • Those who choose to be leaders are more successful. New leaders should reach out to respected current leaders and managers to ensure success through coaching, support and evaluations.
  • There is no underestimating how stressful the transition can be. Incoming leaders can benefit tremendously through organization transition programs or by seeking advice about transitioning from successful leaders to stay on the right track.
  • Changing times call for a new kind of leader. New leaders should possess qualities of a catalyst leader; Catalyst leaders are striving to make both the organization and the people within the organization better off than ever.
  • Great leadership is practiced one conversation at a time. Through every interaction, leaders should (1) maintain or enhance self-esteem, (2) listen and respond with empathy, (3) ask for help and encourage involvement, (4) share thoughts, feelings and rationale and (5) provide support without responsibility.
  • It takes time to develop leadership skills. Leaders need to master soft skills, or emotional intelligence, to achieve success. Building leadership skills is an on-going process that leaders must be fully invested in at all times.
  • Leadership agility is key. Leaders must understand that each individual they interact with is unique and must be addressed accordingly.
  • Leadership really changes the world. The impact of a leader extends much beyond the success of the workplace; leadership skills can and should be applied to improve personal relationships and community involvements.

Although taking on the role as a leader for the first time may seem quite intimidating, the successful outcomes make the challenges beyond worthwhile. Not only can effective leaders see improvements in sales profitability, ROI, engagement and absenteeism throughout the organization, but also, successful leaders can ultimately seek ways to improve situations outside the organization: whether it may be improving upon something as minute as a personal relationship or as large as, well, the world.

To learn more about Tacy M. Byham, Ph.D., or to gain additional information about becoming a successful leader, visit