Cindy Smith
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Cindy Smith

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Leadership and Advocacy

The March class of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program focused on situational leadership and architectural advocacy.

Effective leaders don’t share a common leadership style, rather the most effective leaders tailor their styles to the teams they lead.  That was the big takeaway from the ELP class held in March. It’s called “situational leadership.”

ELP instructor Pete DeLisle, Hon. AIA Dallas took the class through a series of exercises to help illustrate the point. One of the exercises was in the form of a board game. Players were given a “situation,” such as “Your subordinates, usually able to take responsibility, are not responding to your recent redefining of standards.” We then had to choose the best action to take out of four possibilities. Players received the most points for choosing the action that best matched the team’s experience level.

It wasn’t always as easy as it sounds. The day exposed that we each had a bias toward a natural leadership style of our own. But DeLisle gave the class strategies to better recognize the needs of the team to create better outcomes.

The class was followed by a panel discussion on architectural advocacy by noted Dallas architects Zaida Basora, FAIA; Todd Howard, AIA; and Michael Malone, FAIA.

The three accomplished leaders in the field shared their personal experiences advocating both for the profession and for the work, urging ELP members to continue to be involved.