3 Lessons: Authentic Leadership

3 Lessons Authentic Leadership Associations Now November/December 2017 Issue

Dresden Farrand, CAE, vice president of chapter development, says you can’t know everything and that’s OK.

Dresden Farrand, CAE
Vice President of Chapter Development
Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc.
Alexandria, Virginia

It’s OK to not know.

You just don’t know what you don’t know. You are not a magician or psychic. When I am running a meeting or in board meetings, I am often asked many questions. If I do not have the answer, I do not get nervous or make stuff up or apologize. I simply say, “I do not know the answer to that, but I will find out and get back to you.”

Get to know your board.

Regardless of your title, get to know your board of directors, as their profiles can tell you much more about the organization than meets the eye. If you want to have a pulse on the social, economic, political, and environmental impact of your organization, simply look at your leadership structure. Ask questions about the demographics of your board and their expertise and influences.

Ask for what you need.

As a career-loving mom, I know exactly what I need to balance my demands at work and home. The old me was timid to ask for a flexible work schedule for fear of judgment. It was not until I had a CEO who put an emphasis on supporting working parents through progressive workplace policies that it all made sense. Since then, I tell employers exactly what I need upfront, and I would not take a position that provided less than that.