Starting with the basics: A toolkit for Accidental Leaders

Episode 19
38m | Dec 6, 2023

Welcome back to the show, everyone. Join me in this episode as I dive into the intricacies of leading through change and fear. Joined by first-time podcast guest Denise Hackendahl, Executive Director for Inspire Culture, we unpack the challenges leaders face while trying to navigate comfort zones and push into new territories.

Denise also shares insightful thoughts on her experiences in managing organizational culture, nurturing new leaders, and emphasizing HR's critical role in shaping a successful working environment.

Broaden your understanding on the significance of brushing up on your HR 101 knowledge to ensure your leadership remains well-rounded and effective! Get set to uncover the secret ingredient in fostering a supportive environment, promoting professional growth, and masterfully balancing the challenge of leadership with personal life!

Tune in to this episode to hear about inspiring leadership legacies and how introspection can reboot your leadership journey, even amid chaos. You won’t want to miss this!

Time Stamps:

[0:51] - We talked a lot about fear back in episode 8.

[3:58] - Denise points out how promotions to leadership entail a complex mix of emotions; misconceptions hinder smooth transitions.

[6:18] - Recognizing diverse talents, role clarity, and understanding individual capabilities are crucial for effective leadership.

[9:20] - Denise emphasizes the importance of realistic expectations and comprehensive development plans following promotion.

[11:56] - Leadership transitions, like those at Apple, Disney, and T-Mobile, often face challenges in maintaining authenticity and navigating cultural shifts.

[13:03] - Embracing authenticity in assuming significant roles involves acknowledging fear, diverse emotions, and necessary change for growth.

[14:10] - I point out how new leaders often imitate iconic figures like Steve Jobs, facing failure without genuine understanding.

[15:36] - Denise has observed a shift toward shaping organizational culture, emphasizing understanding over formalities and compliance.

[17:37] - Promoting mid-level managers to the next level requires addressing challenges in understanding team dynamics and managerial skills.

[19:57] - I reflect on a strategic planning session, prioritizing basic infrastructure.

[21:55] - Buying a house with a great kitchen but neglecting basics mirrors leadership mistakes. Prioritizing fundamentals, like H.R. 101, reduces chaos and ensures success.

[23:35] - Denise argues that starting with a clear baseline enhances efficiency, instilling confidence in leaders.

[25:27] - In a crisis, introspection, acknowledging challenges, and methodical change ensure progress for leaders.

[27:24] - Acknowledging setbacks isn't failure, Denise points out; it's transparent self-awareness.

[28:59] - Effective leadership, exemplified by humility and fair treatment, fosters professional growth and confidence.

[31:24] - I started this podcast to emphasize the profound impact of a leader's actions on others.

[33:36] - Leading for four years now, Denise finds fulfillment in building partnerships and supporting clients nationwide.

[35:45] - In summary, as an accidental leader matures, the focus shifts from changing the world to self-improvement; acknowledging this fosters better leadership.

[37:02] - How can Denise be contacted?

Contact Denise:

Inspire Culture First - Website

Denise’s LinkedIn Page

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The Accidental Leader