Skills for journalists in print and digital media.

Leadership lessons

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One of the least taught yet most important newsroom skills is leadership. And in tough times the demands on leadership — at all levels of newsroom management — are overwhelming.

As Sandy Rowe ends her 16-year-run as editor of The Oregonian, one of her many former colleagues, Michelle McLellan of the Knight Digital Media Center, shares six leadership lessons learned from Rowe,  and others who have passed through Rowe’s orbit underscore how well she lived each one.

Here’s the list of lessons:

  1. Listen, and listen well.
  2. Let others lead.
  3. Make the tough calls.
  4. Stand up for readers.
  5. Know your talents and how to use them.
  6. Own the vision.

The six share pieces of  the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” at the heart of Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner’s book, The Leadership Challenge.

  1. Model the way.
  2. Inspire a shared vision.
  3. Challenge the process.
  4. Enable others to act.
  5. Encourage the heart.

All these skills and practices  culminate in that last one of encouraging the heart. Kouzes-Posner describe the fifth practice this way: “Accomplishing extraordinary things in organizations is hard work. To keep hope and determination alive, leaders recognize contributions that individuals make.” Recognition can be public praise or rewards. But day to day “recognition” is about  listening, walking the talk, letting others lead, and all the rest. And if there was every time hearts need encouragement in journalism, that time is now.


Written by mroberts8

December 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm

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