Providing leadership in an IT world

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Col.) Clifton Perry
  • 18th Wing Chaplain
In the world of emails, text messaging, Facebook, MySpace, Youtube, iPods, and iPhones, interpersonal skills get rusty and sometimes forgotten. People email their co-workers (even in the same office) rather than speak to them! 

The iLeaders of today and tomorrow must keep their interpersonal skills sharp. Think about it, of all the great leaders you know, what sets them apart from the pack? My guess, they took the time to establish a relationship with you. Here are a few downloads for your iLeader files, play these back in your head from time to time, and see if they make you a better leader. 

iLeaders establish trust. Trust is a reciprocal belief that you can depend on another and together you can achieve a common purpose. Think how many people it takes to get one aircraft off the ground and back down safely; there's a lot of trust involved! iLeaders establish consistency and predictability through transparent communication; no veiled intentions or threats. 

iLeaders share and delegate control which also promotes trust. One of the best ways to establish trust is to get to know your people. iLeaders know who's sick, hurting, getting married, car's in the shop, behind on their bills, just promoted (or not) and show authentic concern for others. 

iLeaders handle conflict. I've heard it said before "if the fur ain't flying, you must be dying." In other words, life brings conflict. Not everyone will agree with you or see it your way.
iLeaders embrace problems not because they like to fight but because they like to find solutions. Running from conflict doesn't resolve anything, it only postpones the resolution or allows the problem to fester. If you are going to lead, you better get comfortable with conflict. iLeaders will attack the problem, not the person. 

iLeaders value diversity. If everyone was like me we would all drive Corvettes or Porsches, but with a family of six I'm glad someone invented the Suburban! My first assignment was at Lackland's basic trainee chapel. Our staff had 8 different flavors (Christian Scientist, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, National Baptist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, United Methodist, and me a Southern Baptist). 

Now that's a diverse group of ministers. I learned more about my beliefs by listening and sharing with those seven chaplains than in three years of seminary. iLeaders want to hear, see, and learn from those with different perspectives.
iLeaders establish trust, handle conflict, and value diversity. 

Sharpen your interpersonal skills and see what a difference you can make as a leader. Now is the time for iLeadership; plug in, listen, care, communicate, and lead!