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Leading from within/Mener de l'interieur.

Leadership is not easily defined. Yet DC's 2013 Conference in Victoria provided a multitude of perspectives on this theme, stimulating enthusiastic discussions in sessions and hallways. Leadership characteristics highlighted include accessibility, creativity and facilitation. Moving people beyond their comfort zones struck me as a key component of progressive leadership, as well as recognizing the leaders amongst those traditionally referred to as 'followers.'

Since my days in public health and health promotion in Saskatchewan, I have valued inclusive leadership styles. Instead of the traditional trope of a leader out in front with people following behind, I have envisioned successful leaders as those who walk in the midst of the group allowing input from others, seeing what they see, and facilitating change from within the group. Skilful leaders with whom I've been privileged to work took time to learn about each individual, their strengths, limitations, and work goals. More important, these leaders chose to discover the personal interests of people and to celebrate personal accomplishments. This approach demonstrated leading from within a group, treating the people involved as whole persons rather than someone to get the work done. In short, I felt respected and valued.

We are all leaders in our profession. Listening to others' ideas assists us in decision-making. Whether we meet at conferences or by social media, we travel the road together to build a sustainable future for the profession.

Le leadership n'est pas un concept facile a definir. Neanmoins, le congres 2013 des DC a Victoria a apporte une multitude de perspectives sur le sujet, suscitant des discussions enthousiastes lors des seances et dans les couloirs. Les caracteristiques du leadership qui sont ressorties comprennent l'accessibilite, la creativite et la facilitation. Faire sortir les gens de leur zone de confort et reconnaitre les leaders parmi ceux qu'on appelle traditionnellement les <<suiveurs>> me sont apparus comme des composantes cles du leadership progressif.

Depuis mes annees en sante publique et promotion de la sante en Saskatchewan, j'accorde une grande valeur aux styles de leadership inclusif. Au lieu de l'image traditionnelle du leader au-devant suivi par un groupe de gens, je concois les leaders accomplis comme des personnes qui marchent au centre du groupe, acceptant l'avis et les commentaires des autres, se mettant a leur place et facilitant le changement au sein du groupe. Les leaders habiles avec qui j'ai eu le privilege de travailler prenaient le temps de connaitre chaque personne, ses forces, ses limites et ses objectifs de travail. Chose encore plus importante, ces leaders choisissaient de decouvrir les interets personnels des gens et de celebrer les realisations personnelles. Cette approche consistait a mener de l'interieur, a traiter les gens comme des personnes a part entiere, plutot que comme de simples individus devant accomplir une tache. Bref, je me sentais respectee et valorisee.

Nous sommes tous des leaders dans notre profession. Ecouter les idees des autres nous aide a prendre des decisions. Que nous nous rencontrions lors de congres ou par l'entremise des medias sociaux, nous parcourons le chemin ensemble afin de batir un avenir durable pour la profession.

Laurle A. Wadsworth, PhD, PDt. FDC


(DOI: 10.3148/74.3.2013.102)
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Title Annotation:Chair's message/Message de la presidente
Author:Wadsworth, Laurie A.
Publication:Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 22, 2013
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