We could have been invited to speak about org charts, making tough decisions, managing finances, etc. Instead, we were asked to talk about vulnerability, trust, and engagement. This is what my co-presenters and I did at a one-day leadership program for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital last week. This exceptional pediatric research and treatment center recognizes that it needs to keep learning and that the intra/interpersonal aspects of leadership are as important as the mechanics of managing hospital departments and labs.
I facilitated a workshop on the leader’s role in ensuring the success of employee learning and development programs. Brené Brown gave a keynote address about how everyone's sense of vulnerability and shame can be a barrier to leading. Greg McKeown had St. Jude managers
thinking about how they can make the people around them smarter, more motivated, and more successful. Jim Ferrell talked about minimizing the self-deception we all do as both individuals and organizations. Rich Brandt emphasized the importance of leaders building trust and engagement. And Carl Cohen described the interpersonal dynamics of leading biomedical research teams effectively. The day provided a tremendous learning opportunity for St. Jude’s managers to become more effective leaders.