- Lisa Hill DiFusco
A Shared Leadership Language
- Mayor Lovely Ann Warren
Leadership – A Means to an End
- Dr. Ehsan Hoque
Being An Authentic Leader
- Dana Miller
Follow,or Get Out of the Way
- Global Leadership Summit Panel
Cultivating Creativity & Community in Rochester
- Manish Dixit
World-Class Leadership at the 2019 Global Leadership Summit
- Editor’s Corner & Announcements
- Global Leadership Summit Poster
Rochester Leadership Digest
A Shared Leadership Language
Ultimately it is
- To be with his friends (his employees)
- To practice excellence
The work culture he has established at the Ritz focuses on
Mr. Schultz was a recent presenter at the Global Leadership Summit. His passion for excellence became part of something called a “Shared Leadership Language” – words and phrases that effortlessly instruct.
A shared leadership language holds the possibility of uniting a community. It allows people from different sectors, backgrounds, and belief systems to share something in common. It
Tears down walls. The truth is, most are drawn to becoming a better leader. A shared leadership language helps people do just that. Here are a few examples taught at the Global Leadership Summit…
Play to people’s strengths – Marcus Buckingham, a renowned thought leader widely recognized as the world’s leading expert on talent, encourages his readers to align employees with tasks that energize them, rather than tasks in which they are strong.
Vision is defined as “a picture of the future that produces passion in people” – The first step in leading others is to identify a vision, and powerfully inspire others to follow it. Bill Hybels explains that leaders need to be constantly inspiring followers. It doesn’t happen just one time.
Humble, Hungry and Smart – Several-time NY Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, provides a roadmap for hiring ideal team players, principles outlined in his recent book, The Ideal Team Player.
Leadership is solving problems – The retired four-star general who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, believed in pursuing excellence… and that was all about solving problems.
Failure is not an option. Oh, yes it is! – Colin Powell exhorts leaders to remember the importance of intentionality.
These and other leadership principles foster a shared leadership language in a
I began attending the Summit in 2004 and have gone almost every year since. What I’ve observed over the years is that 100% of the individuals and organizations who apply the presented principles get better. They thrive. No exceptions!
In fact, what began as a resource to help church pastors around the world become more effective 25 years ago, has become so successful that 70% of the 410,000 attendees from around the world now come from the business sector. It’s an interesting dynamic.
Today over 2 dozen cities leverage the Summit as a catalyst to solve community challenges and form city movements. People from different ethnic and economic backgrounds with differing perspectives work together to solve community challenges.
In our third edition of the Rochester Leadership Digest we welcome our featured authors who wish to make Rochester a thriving beacon. We especially wish to thank Mayor Lovely Warren for her contribution, Dr. Ehsan Hoque from the University of Rochester and Dana Miller, Director of Development Services from the City of Rochester.
Your wisdom motivates others to pursue greatness.
Lisa Hill DiFusco
President and Founder
Lisa Hill DiFusco is the President and Founder of The LightHeart Institute, a for-profit, 32 year-old Rochester-based company whose mission is to foster an upward spiral of health and prosperity. Through a holistic lens it offers services in leadership development, holistic/integrative psychotherapy, functional medicine consultancy-care and spiritual growth.
Leadership – A Means to an End Mayor of The City of Rochester
A leader must have courage, must listen to diverse ideas and be willing to do the right thing.
Leadership, to me, is not a goal but a means to an end, and I continue to be motivated by the people I’ve grown up
As a child in the 19th Ward, I saw people in my
I ran for Mayor to fight for jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for all of Rochester. Our city is once again becoming a place our young people are proud to call home. While we talk a lot about development – and I am truly excited about projects like the Inner Loop and ROC the Riverway – ultimately, it’s not about infrastructure, it’s about making life better for the people who live here. My goal is a vibrant, healthy city for people of all ages. To lead that effort, I focus on three things:
Collaboration: Healthy partnerships are crucial to a city’s success – and that means cultivating and building relationships with leaders in the public, private, nonprofit, academic, citizen and neighborhood sectors. As a leader, I owe it to my community to advocate on its behalf and ask for the resources my city deserves. When we work together, we all rise as one.
Objectives: I manage by objectives and put great faith in the people around me, trusting them to accomplish the goals we set as a team. Picking the right people is one of the most challenging responsibilities of a leader – but also the most important. A leadership team must operate with integrity and be visible in the community. My team knows I also expect clear and measurable progress toward our objectives.
Innovation: I will not accept “because that’s the way we’ve always done things,” as a response. Often, old problems demand new solutions. Our community is program rich and results poor. I am looking for new ideas and identifying initiatives that have been successful in other cities, in other communities. I am willing to take risks and try new things. I believe that change can be hard, but change can happen if you keep pushing forward.
When I remain focused on the people I serve, it’s easier to confront
For example, as Mayor, I have little say in how our public schools are run – but I refuse to be silent. Too many children in Rochester are stuck in failing schools and that’s unacceptable. A child’s zip code should not determine their fate. Meeting the needs of children has been a primary goal of mine from the first day of my administration, and we’ve significantly improved pre-K enrollment, modernized our school buildings and expanded programs at our libraries and R-Centers to support our youth.
But I can no longer sit back and wait for change from within
Taking on these challenges may not make me popular with everyone, but I’m not running for Homecoming Queen. I’m leading the third-largest city in New York State, and I take my responsibilities to our people seriously. I became a leader to make a difference.
Mayor Lovely Ann Warren is Rochester’s first female, second African-American, and
She is currently serving her second four-year term, having been re-elected in 2017. Her administration continues to focus on job creation and improving educational opportunities for Rochester’s residents.
Prior to becoming mayor, she was a Rochester City Council member from 2007 to 2013, and was elected as City Council president in 2010. She holds a bachelor’s degree from John Jay College and Juris Doctor from Albany Law School. She is married and the mother of a young daughter.
Being An Authentic Leader
For me, taking the time to establish rapport and express a sincere desire to get to know colleagues is as important as the work to be done.
What is your leadership style, and what practices do you follow that have helped you to grow into a better leader over time?
Leadership, to me, is all about listening. One of the best ways I can show that I care is by listening with an open mind. In terms of strategy — listening, when done right, gives one control of the conversation redirecting the talker to the common shared goal. Ever wonder why many thought leaders from Japan, despite knowing English, often use a translator? It is to avoid a quick reaction and spend more time listening.
Introducing efficiency is an important metric for any leader. To achieve efficiency, it could be tempting to shorten social interaction and focus more on the agenda. For me, taking the time to establish rapport and express a sincere desire to get to know colleagues is as important as the work-to-be-done. Getting the small-talk right in a sincere manner can be tricky, awkward and messy. As a result, it may be tempting to shorten face time and use the “like”/“retweet” button with excess. I find it rewarding to embrace the uncertainty of human interaction and through repeated practice, make it as fluid as possible.
I make it a priority to remember the smallest details of the individuals with whom I work. For example, when I was given the assignment to advise 30+ undergraduate students I knew it would be difficult to remember all of their details. I resorted to maintaining a Google doc where I could add details about them over the years which I occasionally reviewed. This allowed every brief interaction with those students to be fulfilling and satisfying.
We do not realize that the most important word for any individual is their name. A simple practice like using people’s names helps us build rapport. Even when I order a cup of coffee at Tim Horton’s drive-up window, I always read the attendant’s name tag and thank them using their name. The genuine smile I receive back for being acknowledged gives me a sense of joy every morning.
It may be expected for a leader to know everything. I find it very liberating to admit as often as appropriate ‘I don’t know.’ Similarly, being vulnerable when investing in a relationship that may or may not work, and trusting people, is very important. I find addressing situations with statements such as “I trust you in …,” “I was wrong, you were right,” “I am sorry,” and “I am grateful” help cultivate relationships, and build trust.
What are some of the challenges you face in your leadership position?
Having a team that embodies and appreciates diversity of thought will always put us ahead. Building a team that truly represents diversity, broadly defined, is a challenge, and we always feel we can do better. For example, as innovators, our inventions should be applicable to everyone regardless of their gender, age, culture, language, and ethnicity. It is important that our team equally represent all the appropriate stakeholders to better understand the blind spots that our invention may miss.
What impact do you want to have in Rochester as a result of your leadership experience?
As we prepare students at the University of Rochester with skills in data science and Artificial Intelligence, many look to explore careers
As a leader, I always highlight the importance of work-life balance and how it positively impacts one’s quality of life.
I also hope that we will be able to continue to attract talent from outside of Rochester given our economic opportunities, cultural amenities, and excellent education.
We may, however, have to help students get started with winter sports though to truly appreciate the …umm… energetic winter of Rochester.
Ehsan Hoque is an Asaro-Biggar Family Fellow and Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Rochester. He holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Hoque’s research focuses on computationally modeling many facets of human communication, with the goal of improving the lives of the disadvantaged, ill, and disabled. He is one of
Dr. Hoque is also the primary caregiver of his younger brother, age 19, who is nonverbal and has severe social difficulties.
Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way
Once decisions are made, everyone must be “in the same boat, rowing in the same direction.”
“Lead, follow, or get out of the way!” I am particularly fond of this statement because as a leader you are often both leading and following. It is rare to do one or the other. Even while leading an organization, you still follow market trends, competition, financial results
And often while following, you still find yourself leading – setting direction and making decisions.
Then there is the third part – “get out of the way!” This may be read as “Don’t get in the way of people who are leading or following.” But it can also be interpreted as allowing others to do their best without interference or interruption.
I have been a manager for more than 40 years working in organizations as small as 5 and as large as 150. Throughout that time I have developed a management philosophy which includes five points:
- There is no such thing as a bad idea.
- Leaders must listen to and consider all points of view.
- People closest to the front lines generally have the greatest insight as to how to solve problems.
- Leaders need to be decisive and make decisions even when they don’t have all the information at their fingertips.
- Once decisions are made, everyone must be “in the same boat, rowing in the same direction.”
Problem solving is the most critical skill required of a manager. We are often presented with challenges that must be overcome, and a decision made. We ask for input, we review data, and we test theories. But ultimately what people want from us is a decision. Do we go this way or that way? Do we stop now, or go farther? Do we invest more, or do we redirect (always) limited resources to a more deserving project? A manager often stands alone in decision-making, all eyes looking to her or him for a decision. Oftentimes once a decision is made, “winners” leave and celebrate, and “losers” quietly point out the idiocy of the decision.
This often causes the plan to fail because without everyone “rowing in the same direction” you are doomed. It is critical that we honestly say to everyone “I believe that I understand your point of view; I believe you understand my point of view; and even though we may not agree, I’d like you to support the decision.” This allows everyone to know that their input has been honestly considered and that when the decision is made, everyone is able to get onboard—to help lead, follow, or get obstacles out of the way.
My current position as Director of Development Services for the City of Rochester includes responsibility for Business Development, Project Development, Housing, Real Estate
Now defined, I believe leadership and the proper management philosophy of helping everyone to get on board, will move us onward to success.
Dana Miller is a life-long resident of Rochester. He attended Monroe Community College and the University of Rochester where he received an MBA from the Simon School of Business.
Dana spent 34 years of his career at Xerox Corporation where he held a series of technical management positions. Following Xerox he spent 9 years as Vice President of Advancement for the Rochester Area Community Foundation.