This post is the second in a series that shares the The 10 Powers of Leadership delivered by Jill Geisler in the commencement address to the 2012 graduates of Duquesne University’s School of Leadership and Professional Advancement.
2. The Power of Encouragement:
Somewhere, at this moment, there’s a 5K run under way. Runners are trying for a personal best, or showing support for a cause, or trying to stay healthy. They’re nearing a hill, some are winded and wondering about the wisdom of this adventure – and then there’s the band off to the side, playing the theme from “Rocky,” and the people poised to clap, LOUD, and the crazy signs like ones I’ve seen that say, “They’re running out of beer at the finish, hurry up,” or “You’re so smart and pretty.” And somehow, the power of encouragement provides a second wind. When life and work get challenging, for whom will you provide that second wind?
- How do you encourage yourself?
- Does the thought of doing so make you feel uncomfortable? If so, why?
- What would be one thing you could do today, right now, to encourage you go after your dream?
3. The Power of Critical Thinking:
The most important thing my academic career taught me is how much I don’t know and why continuous learning happens via critical thinking. That’s why questions are such important tools. It’s why assumptions are to be explored before they’re embraced. It’s why biases and blind spots can overtake our best selves, or what we think to be our best selves, unless we’re vigilant. Check sources and context, challenge generalizations and inferences, and never lose sight of the core values that guide you.
- Are you willing to challenge your assumptions and beliefs?
- Are your beliefs in alignment with who you are today?
- What action can you take today, right now, to ensure you are using your best critical thinking?