Category Archives: 5 questions

5 Questions with Jolie Hershey

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Name: Jolie Hershey

Location: San Diego, CA

Occupation: District Visual Merchandiser

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?

I have been lucky to work for leaders who were brave enough to be honest with me about my strengths and opportunities. As hard as it was to hear the criticism, I was grateful for the honesty and grew tremendously from it.
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?

At one point, I worked on a team lead by someone who did not embody my company’s values. It was not that this person lacked talent, indeed they were very highly skilled, but a poor fit for the organization and that misalignment negatively impacted every member of the team.

3.What is one characteristic you look for in an effective leader?

Integrity.

4. When have you motivated another person to better themselves or to be more productive in their job?

A big part of my job is training and hands-on support for the managers in my territory, in this capacity I have the pleasure of helping people develop new skills and have a more well-rounded understanding of the retail world.

5. What is one piece of advice you’d give towards aspiring leaders?

Listen more than you talk. It’s so important to be responsive to people’s actual needs and questions. You can only achieve this if you listen to what they are saying rather than simply giving the answers you think they need or you had prepared ahead.

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5 Questions with Hsuanwei Fan

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Hsuanwei Fan

Name: Hsuanwei Fan

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Occupation: Teach For America Corps Member assigned to the Los Angeles School District

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?

I think the best kind of motivation I’ve received from a leader is seeing them lead by example. It is one thing to try to lecture a team to victory and a whole different story with the one in charge LEADING the charge. I like seeing my leaders in action because then their passion for the cause becomes evident, and it is a good way for them to also display their expertise at whatever you’re trying to accomplish, which wins me and my loyalty and respect over a hundredfold over just words that were meant to be inspiring.
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 think the worst kind of example a leader could set is a display of incompetence. It is important for leaders to continue to educate themselves and sharpen their skills so that in the end, they are not only seen as someone who delegates responsibilities and sit back. Another trait that makes it difficult for me to respect a leader is when they are extremely closed-minded. A good leader is able to take and value input from different people, regardless of whether there is an impressive title or credentials by their name. I value leaders who can take constructive criticism and occasionally change their mind for the benefit of the cause or project that the team is hoping to accomplish.

3.What is one characteristic you look for in an effective leader?
I think I may have touched upon this quite a bit in the past two responses, but another characteristic that impresses me in an effective leader is the ability to be versatile and resilient. A leader who can quickly adapt to drastically changing situations calmly and without panic helps the team remain focused on solutions rather than uncertainty. In the face of a setback or disappointment, a leader who is able to remain optimistic and reassuring can inspire hope, which is much more preferred compared to the alternative.

4. 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?

I think the best kind of motivation I’ve received from a leader is seeing them lead by example. It is one thing to try to lecture a team to victory and a whole different story with the one in charge LEADING the charge. I like seeing my leaders in action because then their passion for the cause becomes evident, and it is a good way for them to also display their expertise at whatever you’re trying to accomplish, which wins me and my loyalty and respect over a hundredfold over just words that were meant to be inspiring.

5. 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 think the worst kind of example a leader could set is a display of incompetence. It is important for leaders to continue to educate themselves and sharpen their skills so that in the end, they are not only seen as someone who delegates responsibilities and sit back. Another trait that makes it difficult for me to respect a leader is when they are extremely closed-minded. A good leader is able to take and value input from different people, regardless of whether there is an impressive title or credentials by their name. I value leaders who can take constructive criticism and occasionally change their mind for the benefit of the cause or project that the team is hoping to accomplish.

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5 Questions with Matt Wheat

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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 Matt Wheat.

Name: Matt Wheat

Position: Retail Store Manager

Place: Oxnard, 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?

The leaders who have most influenced me have done so by building on a foundation of personal investment.  Whether it was a challenge, recognition, coaching, or feedback, they engaged me on a personal level. Their emotional intelligence allowed them to select the right tonality and language that most resonated with me.

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 find micro-management intolerable.  It is the absence of empowerment and trust.

3. What is one characteristic you look for in an effective leader?

The ability to connect with a diverse population while remaining transparently true to themselves.

4. When have you motivated another person to better themselves or to be more productive in their job?

It is my intention to motivate by creating an environment where the innate skills and strengths of an individual are allowed/encouraged to flourish on a daily basis.

5. What is one piece of advice you’d give towards aspiring leaders?

Bob Dylan said you gotta serve somebody. I would challenge any leader to keep asking who they are serving.

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5 Questions with Matt Sharpe

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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 Matt Sharpe, a former youth and care pastor in a church.

Name: Matt Sharpe

Position: Leader in Transition (Former: Pastor of Youth and Care)

Place: Frankfort, IL

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?

The person who has motivated me the most has been a friend and mentor of mine name Dave Kolb. Dave is a missionary pastor and until his retirement, he trained pastors in Mexico and other places. He was the first person who spoke into my life in a significant way to affirm my call into pastoral leadership.

As I look back, his words were so effective because of who he is and our relationship. He trains pastors both in the US and abroad and, as a result, he has a thorough working knowledge of the skills and character that it takes to be a lead pastor. He also knows me well as a friend and mentor. Thus he knows my strengths and my weaknesses. So for him to share that he believes I am called to pastoral leadership is a huge motivator.

Its interesting that he has never used pep talks or a lot of hype to get me motivated. He really just spoke the truth and, even to this day, gives me opportunities to lead in ministry. This has been more motivating than any sort of “Let’s win one for the Gipper” kind of speeches.

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?

Conversely, I look at a former boss who had the exact opposite effect in my life. This boss had no interest in relating to me as a person or even as a colleague. While, on the one hand, I know that being a personal friend or buddy to a subordinate is not in a senior pastor’s job description, on the other hand, I have had supervisors in other industries (like manufacturing) that made it a point to have a personal connection with me.

The result of this highly impersonal connection is that 1) our relationship is limited to policies and procedures and 2) I find that I was more interested in pursuing my own goals and objectives for the organization than I was his. This lack of personal connection definitely had a negative impact on motivation.

3. What is one characteristic you look for in an effective leader?

I would say that the one characteristic I look for in a leader is “Incarnational Passion.” I want to follow a leader who knows me and who also lives the mission that he or she is calling me to live. In short, I want to follow a person I respect who points to a mountain and says “we are going to take that mountain or die trying” and then we climb the mountain together.

4. When have you motivated another person to better themselves or to be more productive in their job?

I was told once by one of my volunteer leaders that he saw how I ministered to young people and it made him want to do better in how he cared for them too. To me, this was a huge affirmation of my leadership. This person had seen how I live and function in ministry and, because of our connection, he was inspired to do better in his own personal ministry.

Whats even more exciting is that he followed through with that desire. He committed himself to pursue additional training and went out of his way to build relationships outside of the normal times of ministry. The additional piece of information that brings clarity to this story is that this volunteer has a full time job and a family and yet he felt inspired to move forward in ministry.

5. What is one piece of advice you’d give towards aspiring leaders?

One piece of advice for aspiring leaders. . . Fail Forward.

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5 Questions With Victor Rios

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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: Victor Rios

Position: Associate Professor Ph.D. UC Berkeley, Curriculum Vitae Research Interests

Place: Santa Barbara, CA
(Professor Rios’ 2011 book, Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys (NYU Press), analyzes how juvenile crime policies and criminalization affect the everyday lives of urban youth. He has published on juvenile justice, masculinity, and race and crime in scholarly journals such as The Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Latino Studies, and Critical Criminology. In 2011 Professor Rios received the Harold J. Plous award at UCSB and In 2010 he received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research. Each award is given to only one member of the entire UCSB faculty per academic year. 
-From UCSB Faculty Profile)

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?

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” “Take it or leave it. Do or don’t do. Either or.” When you hear this you know what side you need to step to.

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?

Depressive personality that takes out his personal stress out on his employees/colleagues. Leaders need to me motivators, Period.

3. What is one characteristic you look for in an effective leader?

Passion. Facilitation skills.

4. When have you motivated another person to better themselves or to be more productive in their job?

When I have learned about their very essence, who they are, what drives them, what makes them feel fulfilled, and used that knowledge to help them realize that what they are doing fits that internal wiring.

5. What is one piece of advice you’d give towards aspiring leaders?

Don’t be afraid to shine because when you do a new path emerges for others in the midst of the darkness they encounter.

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5 questions with Drew Carr

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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

Position/Job: Psychologist

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

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5 Questions with Greg Richardson (from StrategicMonk.com)

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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 Greg Richardson of StrategicMonk.com.

Name: Greg Richardson

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Position/Job: Leadership and Organizational Coach, Spiritual Director, THE Strategic Monk at StrategicMonk.com

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?

There are a couple of things that have been especially motivating for me, and they are both connected to having respect for the leader I could become.
 
For one example, I worked with someone who began our project together by giving me a list of clear, tangible objectives that took us to our goal. I had no question about what they expected, and was confident that each action would be a step toward completing our project well. I set out to make sure that we met each objective ahead of schedule.  The project went extremely well, and we had a great time working hard to stay ahead of each other.
 
For another, I worked with someone who was very good at giving me time to find solutions. We would sit down together and I would describe all of the obstacles, all of the challenges, all of the reasons we were not going to succeed. They would listen, give me some time to catch my breath, and then ask , “So, what are we going to do?” Again and again, their approach gave me the opportunity to examine the pieces of our situation and see the way we could move toward our goals.

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 think the thing that takes away my motivation more than anything else is when someone tries to take away my ability to find my own way of working.
When people micromanage me, when they take away the discretion or authority they had already given me, when they do not listen to what I have to say, I hear them communication that they are not interested in me. They are not aware of what I can contribute, they do not share my values, they are not interested in how they can help me become a stronger leader. Their main concern seems to be getting someone to do something for them.

3. What is one characteristic you look for in an effective leader?

Becoming an effective leader begins with knowing and being your deepest self.
 
The leaders who inspire me do the work it takes to clear away the distractions so they can recognize and appreciate their true selves, then share themselves with the people around them. They are the leaders who have been able to see my true self, even before i could see myself, and guide me toward becoming the leader I can be.

4. When have you motivated another person to better themselves or to be more productive in their job?

I am a recovering attorney, and used to work as a criminal prosecutor. I learned how to motivate people to do and say what I wanted them to do and say.
Now, as a coach and a spiritual director, I am less directive, less argumentative. I listen more, and try to motivate people to speak and act for themselves. I ask questions that are different from cross-examination. I am not trying to present a persuasive case, more helping people listen to their own deeper stories.

5. What is one piece of advice you’d give towards aspiring leaders?

Spend some time in reflection every day. Set aside the distractions of expectations and urgency. Take a walk or sit in a rocking chair. Get some fresh air and take deep breaths. Spend some time listening to silence.
Give yourself the opportunity to remember your core values; why is what you are doing important, and how does it reflects your deepest self?

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