Brief

Leadership can become “a way of being” when you practice self-reflection, make work safe for your team and transform challenges into opportunities, says Kellogg School of Management professor Michelle Buck. “Resist the temptation to think that there’s only one solution to any challenge we face,” she says.

 

insight

As a clinical professor of leadership at the Kellogg School, this is not exactly a new topic for her. But as Buck has been thinking about how leaders are dealing with our country’s multiple crises—public health, the economy, racial justice—she keeps returning to four foundational principles of leadership again and again. All of them, she says, feel both timeless and timely right now.

And they are relevant to everyone seeking to lead today, regardless of what it says on their business card.“Leadership is not a title. Leadership is not a position,” Buck says. “But rather, leadership is a mindset. Leadership is a way of being.”

Buck outlined her four principles in a recent webinar with Kellogg Executive Education.First, leaders must leverage the power of reflection. While self-reflection has long been in the leader’s toolbox, it is a particularly important tool right now, Buck says, because it can provide stability in a time of so much tumult.

“If everything around us that has been familiar in terms of the status quo is falling apart, we need something to hold onto,” she says. “Our values and purpose can give us consistency.”

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