Betsy Myers has always been curious about what people do and why they do what they do. This curiosity has driven her to research what it means to be a leader and the most effective ways to lead. And it was during her opening keynote address at VenueConnect that she shared some of her findings with attendees.
“Leadership is about results and what matters to you,” Myers said. “Leadership, today, is about getting the heart of an employee.”
Myers is the founding director of Bentley University. Previously, she was executive director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She also was former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s senior adviser on women’s issues and a senior adviser on U.S. President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
During her keynote, she asked attendees to imagine if leaders brought out the productive feelings in the people around them.
“We are human beings first, and our feelings determine our motivation, engagement, and how we connect,” Myers said. “When people feel valued, supported, appreciated, and understood, they do their best work.”
She suggested that attendees be specific with praise.
“Take time to thank people around you,” she said. “Successful leaders have a walking around strategy. The strength of your leadership comes from the willingness and curiosity to ask questions, seek input from those around you, and build relationships.”
In the end, though, there’s one thing a leader can do that offers a greater pay back than anything else.
(Image: Orange Photography)