Given COVID-19, the PRSA Western District had to reschedule its spring Western District Conference, which was set for Las Vegas in April. In an effort to stay connected and offer some great value to members, however, the powers that be hosted a webinar yesterday titled “Is Leadership Your Superpower?”
This seminar, which was open to PRSA members and friends at all experience levels alike, was presented by Catherine Wolfe, senior director of corporate communications and public relations for Canon Medical Systems. Her discussion focused on leadership needs today and was intended to inspire attendees to demonstrate leadership and courage in ordinary and extraordinary situations.
After some brief words from PRSA Western District chair Abbie S. Fink (yes, our Abbie), Wolfe dove into the topic on several levels. Among the nuggets gleaned from the session:
Leadership can be learned, but there are characteristics – integrity, selflessness, excellence, humility, perseverance, courage – many leaders share, and many would-be leaders should have or build within themselves.
Courage, in the context of leadership, is standing up for what is right even when opposition. Courage comes from purpose. When a leader knows his/her purpose, it is easier to have courage.
Taking it a step further, focus on being competently courageous. To build this “muscle” of sorts: do great work that you can stand behind confidently, and work that makes others take notice; pilot a change; choose your battles; know your audience; understand the art of persuasion; explain things in a way that matters to the audience, not just you; build relationships; and use data.
In addition to all of the above, during the webinar, Wolfe shared a quote from J.K. Rowling that I think is one of the hardest parts of leading, as well as one of the hardest things to do in our personal lives. She said, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
Isn’t that the truth? In fact, in my opinion, it takes even more.