Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Best Practice 4: ADVOCATOR of DIFFERENCES and COMMUNITY™ (BEING: Advocator)

Best Practice 4: ADVOCATOR of DIFFERENCES and COMMUNITY™ (BEING: Advocator)

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Jeannine Sandstrom and Lee Smith

An advocator is one who stands firm in support. It is about BEING someone who is courageous enough to take a stand, and stay standing. It means having a well-defined sense of right, and the internal strength to defend it. A leader cannot DO this, if he or she cannot BE it. It is an unfortunate truth in business today that we do not find too many people who are so clear about who they are that they are willing to take a firm stand regardless of consequences. But a Legacy Leader® is a ready advocate for what is right, which often involves risk. The word advocator was selected because it carries more strength than defender or supporter. This is about internal commitment to causes, practices and people.

Critical Success Skills: Core Competencies

Legacy Leaders acknowledge the importance and benefit of differences, and have an openness to diverse perspectives. They work hard to remove labels and prejudices, overcome comfort zones, and eliminate “rubber stamp” and “cookie cutter” mentality. Becoming a successful advocator of differences and community requires a keen desire to know others as people, not mere resources, and an understanding that when one grows and succeeds, all do. Advocating differences develops a passion for learning and discovery that unites these differences int o community process instead of personal agenda. The ten critical success skills for this Legacy Practice serve to generate a team-building environment that tears down personal, departmental or organizational “walls” or silos, and fabricates a healthy culture based on understanding the community strength and ultimate success afforded in differences.

  1. Be able to take a stand for a person, practice or cause.
  2. Constantly raise visibility of individuals by mentoring and developing them.
  3. Advocate for a strengths-based culture.
  4. Be a connoisseur of talent, recognizing, valuing and utilizing the best each person has to offer.
  5. Insist on building teams with diverse approaches and capabilities.
  6. Look for and create cross-functional opportunities to develop unique talent.
  7. Promote inter-departmental collaboration, rather than “silo ” orientation.
  8. Consider impact of actions on greater community (beyond organization).
  9. Maintain ongoing dialogue/involvement with internal/ external communities.
  10. Promote inclusive environment to unite toward common focus.
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