Every week, we ask 5 questions to a different person. The questions remain the same but the people change. Some people are leaders, some are followers, but all have valuable input. This week we meet Drew Carr, a mental health professional.
Name: Drew Carr
Location: Pasadena, CA
1. Think back to when you were extremely motivated by a boss, leader, or teammate. What did they say or do that motivated you so much and why did it work?
Early in my research career an adviser noticed that I had a learning disability. Although I immediately thought his discovery meant then end of my research aspirations, however, he told me a story which normalized my experienced. Then, he reframed it into a positive challenge which we could overcome together. From that I was free to embrace my struggles and wanted to work to overcome them.
2. When have you been very unmotivated by a boss, leader, or teammate? Why did it create a feeling of un-motivation to do your job better?
I had a boss once who claimed to be interested in the development of the team. In fact, this person had a chosen few to invest in – and they could do no wrong. As a shy individual who has no desire or skill at playing the political game, I was unable to assuage this person’s ego. Consequently, she deemed all of my work as errant. Eventually, I stopped trying because I could not please her.
3. What is one characteristic you look for in an effective leader?
Unostentatious. A leader that can see themselves as a person first who happens to be in charge of the direction of other persons.
4. When have you motivated another person to better themselves or to be more productive in their job?
On of my supervisee’s noted I am most effective when I am able to contain my own anxiety as well as be open to the others perspective. By being able to listen both to the content and emotion of the other I can understand how often people become trapped by their emotional experience which causes them them to be unable to access their often great ideas.
5. What is one piece of advice you’d give towards aspiring leaders?
Be willing to say “I don’t know.” Be willing to listen first. Be willing to allow others to constructively fail.
Be sure to check out Drew’s blog here: http://voiceincontext.blogspot.com