This is the third in a series of posts where I'll be introducing you to several of my fellow co-authors of Success University For Women In Leadership. In addition to sharing snippets from the book, I'll be asking authors questions that tap into their wisdom and go beyond the stories shared on the pages of their chapters.
Meet Co-Author Agatha Starczyk
Agatha is a human resources strategist, executive leadership coach, writer, and speaker. An experienced business consultant, she has extensive internal and external consulting experience in human resources, talent development and process optimization for various industries. Through her coaching work, Agatha partners with individuals and organizations to improve effectiveness, accelerate results and achieve higher levels of performance. In doing so, she helps individuals become more effective leaders, move ahead in their careers and gain personal satisfaction.
Agatha is an avid volunteer. She is currently serving as the District Commissioner for the Polish Girl Scouts in Alberta, Canada, and is involved in other areas of the Polish community. In her chapter, Model Teamwork, Agatha shares valuable leadership lessons -- both positive and negative -- she's learned through her experiences with scouting and beyond. Agatha says, " ...leadership comes in many different forms and the most impactful leaders do not need a title. They earn respect by being humble and creating an effective model for teamwork."
Beyond The Book
I recently had the opportunity to do a speed interview with Agatha. What follows is the result of our conversation.
Q. How do you determine when to lead and when to follow?
A. When facing a new situation or challenge, my approach is two-fold. First, I try to get a feel for who is best qualified or most experienced in the particular area. I observe and ask a lot of questions. If I happen to be the right one for the job, I will step up. If in this process I see opportunities for others to learn or work with me, I tend to encourage collaboration. If on the other hand, someone else is better suited to lead, I will often offer to support them, so that I continue to learn along the way.
Q. What's been the biggest reward of developing your leadership abilities?
A. While it may sound cliché, I find it very rewarding especially in my one-on-one coaching, when I can share my experience with someone who can relate it to their own and draw out something that resonates. At times it might be to help validate that they are not alone in questioning something and other times it may encourage them to look at a challenge they are facing from a different angle.
Q. Sometimes being a leader can feel lonely. What is something you do to maintain a feeling of connectedness?
A. I have certainly felt that by stepping up and being willing to take on the leadership role, I have ended up doing many things myself. I find that by sharing my vulnerability (not an easy task) with the people who report to me or those in equivalent positions, we can share ideas on possible solutions. Each leader brings something different to the table, and it is amazing how the same problem can be looked at in so many different ways when you put a few heads together.
Q. I talk a lot about 'creating success on your own terms'. How do you think that applies to leadership?
A. Everyone’s definition of success is different. For me it means achieving a life where I have peace of mind, always learning, career progression and time for the people and things that I care about. In order for us to each be successful according to our own definition, we need to seek out leaders, role models and mentors who will encourage us to strive towards it. They are those who understand what we seek and create an environment where we can thrive.
Q. Great leaders allow space for laughter and fun. In that spirit, describe your leadership style using a GIF. :)
ABOUT SUCCESS UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP
Founded in 2015 by Jan Fraser and Catherine Scheers, Success University For Women™ is an organization whose vision is to educate, empower, and promote women around the world through books, conferences, and courses. I am proud to be associated with this organization and to be a featured co-author in their latest book.Success University For Women In Leadership --the 3rd book in the International Best-Selling Success University For Women series. Our official launch date is November 14, 2017. If you would like to stay informed of special pricing, bonuses, and events, SIGN UP HERE.