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Ask the Experts: Leadership Style

March 9, 2011

On Tuesday, Kathy McMahon, the Marketing Director at CBT architects, talked about recent achievements in marketing – today, you can learn about how she developed her leadership style.

I think my leadership style is one of an orchestra conductor. I try to keep everyone on the same beat, keep the work moving forward at the right pace, mind the tempo and tone, and make sure we are hitting all the right notes. Most importantly, I work on making sure that each function in my group— marketing, business development, graphics and public relations— are moving toward the same goals and putting forward the same message. I encourage everyone to do their best work, coach when needed, give constructive feedback and positive reinforcement, tackle tough situations head on, and try to remember to say please and thank you! I am inclusive and directive, work hard to earn the trust and confidence of those around me but am not afraid to ask questions or admit when I don’t understand something. I encourage learning and self growth.

I have had some great mentors in SMPS (thank you Jean Valance, Cathy Edgerley, and Sylvia Wheeler) and elsewhere that showed me that listening, patience, determination, confidence, a good sense of humor, and ability to deal with a lot of different personalities goes a long way to helping accomplish your own personal goals and that of the company as a whole. The evolution of a leadership style is something that I actively cultivated through formal mentorship, reading books on leadership, management and organizational behavior, taking seminars, sharing with colleagues on how to better tackle new or difficult situations, and good ol’ fashion trial and error. The room for self-improvement will never end but when you make a mistake, forgive yourself and learn from it. When you do something right, celebrate!

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