Big leadership ideas from SPJ's Ted Scripps Leadership Institute

The Society of Professional Journalists held its 11th Ted Scripps Leadership Institute on Feb. 27-March 1 in Atlanta. Participants learned more about SPJ and how to work with different people in their SPJ leadership role.

Here are some big leadership takeaways from the workshop:
5 Whys -- Keep asking why to get to the "real" reason or purpose of a task, behavior or action. If you don't ask why then you don't have a clear intention because you didn't ask the right questions. Keep asking why -- drill down -- to re-evaluate that purpose until you get to that clear intention.

Lenses -- How you see the world and roles that influence your perspectives. One lens: Have an open mind. You get out what you put into it.

DiSC personal profile system -- Group members took an evaluation to figure out which profile type they were: Dominant, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness. No one in our group were in the steadiness group.
D's and C's = prioritize, reason, logistics and facts
I's and S's = feelings people; share a focus on relationships; prioritize relationships or feelings

The DiSC test also reveals adjectives called the Intensity Index -- for each of the four types D, I, S or C. The index reminds us to either tone down these tendencies are be aware of them if they're blind spots (i.e. Behaviors that others see, but you don't necessarily know you're doing.)

Solution process for leadership -- Function from the position reasonable restraint. Ask these two questions:

  • Does it have to be done right now (the five whys)?
  • Do I have to be the one to do it?

Focus on your strengths and manage around your weaknesses.
Relationships affect thinking and clarity.
"Who we become together will always be different than who we are alone."