Summary by UMD Fellows Jordan Jantzen and Lauren Krotz
Suzan Hart, Mindset Mastery Mentor, has the vision to help entrepreneurs and busy professionals develop the mindset needed to create business and financial success while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Her ultimate goal is to inspire leaders to design the lifestyle they truly deserve. United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), and its young leaders’ program, Generation M held a “Virtual Hour” moderated by Gen M Global Co-Chair Kristina Dimitrievski on June 3rd where Ms. Hart gave compelling and achievable ideas, as well as resources on how to be a better leader.
Suzan began by emphasizing that leadership is important because everyone has a responsibility to lead regardless of age, race, gender or background. Even more important she feels, is the need for leaders to identify the difference between management and leadership. The first is convincing others what to do, while the second is all about casting a vision for people to follow. Leadership, as described by Ms. Hart, has three key points: “Our ability to influence others, when people act because they choose to, and our ability to be an inspiration.”
By understanding the difference between Positional and Transformational leadership, opens our eyes in regards to the true essence of different leadership positions. Ms. Hart emphasized that while sometimes the positions we are put in require us to lead, these positions sometimes give us the unfortunate power to (unintentionally) exclude others from the group. Positional leadership may make the person believe that they are leading, when in fact they are only managing. The individual needs to consider, if the reason they are in that position of leadership is just an external benefit to the job itself, or perhaps it is a motivation to earn a paycheck instead that drives them. But these are not good reasons to be in any leadership position. True leadership is not forced, instead, it helps transform those being led. Transformational leadership is defined by the power of leading without a title being given to you. Ms. Hart further explained that Transformational leadership is internally motivated leadership. A type of leadership that causes you to step out of your comfort zone and realize your capabilities. It is the act of going first and being an example to all. It forces you to believe in yourself which is extremely healthy. Leadership is the idea of being a lighthouse to others, shedding light on others’ paths to successes, inspiring others to head in that direction.
For Ms. Hart there are five phases of Leadership:
1) Qualify – Leadership takes emotional and mindset mastery, and responsibility. Ask yourself: “Am I truly qualified to do this?”
2) Leader of Self – Ask yourself: “Am I the example of Who and What I want people to follow? Will other people follow me? Am I a good example? Am I going first?
3) Leader of Others
4) Developing Leaders
5) Leader of Leaders – The best kind of organization is run by this kind of people, multiple leaders who are equally important and have the ability to equally follow and lead.
Finally, Ms. Hart left viewers with ‘The Success Formula’: Character x Skills x Attitude x Relationships = Success!
• “Character” is the sum total of what you do with your time and habits. Be wise!
• “Skills” is knowing what skills you have, and the need to become an expert in those skills. Master the skills of your craft so you can teach it to others.
• “Attitude” is all about bringing the right kind of energy – to make people want to be around you.
• “Relationships” are what you need to cultivate, not just a stack of business cards. Listen to what people say and tell you about themselves and their job.
Rate yourself 1-10 on each of these parts of the formula and see where you currently stand. If you have a zero in one of the categories, then you aren’t truly leading the people you have around you!
Mastery = Inspiration = Influence. People follow you because they choose to, master the understanding of who you are in the world and how you impact that world.
Additionally, Ms. Hart also shared experiences of her personal journey. She highlighted the need to work in an environment that stimulates your passion, and to always take on the challenge of life-long learning and growth. Mentors have played a huge role in her life. She encouraged the viewers to find mentors that will push their limits and help them rise to the occasion. Ms. Hart said that everything that was put in her path was for a reason. “Don’t be afraid of trial and error. Tap into yourself and powerfully choose where you want to go.”
The virtual hour ended with an engaging Q&A session featuring audience questions. When asked about her opinion of training people in power to combat common issues such as systemic issues, Ms. Hart replied with an example from one of her previous jobs. She began by emphasizing the importance of being taught what racism is and how it may show itself, and also focusing on the dynamics of power, stating that “racism only has strength when power is introduced”. She also discussed the importance of recognizing privilege, and how it may play a role in one’s own life. Her final point was to start a dialogue, even if it is uncomfortable, and also create accountability because Ms. Hart believes that movements that are the most effective are ones that apply to multiple communities and not just one.
Suzan Hart’s challenge to be a transformational leader is one that everyone can learn from. Ms. Hart’s easy to understand and practical advice, as seen in the Five Phases of Leadership, allows for one to easily grasp how we all can be better leaders. We all have the power to cast a vision, inspiring others to follow our cause.
If you missed our time together over Zoom, please feel free to watch the recap video on UMDs website or YouTube channel, and be sure to sign up for UMD’s newsletter so you don’t miss future events!