The_Real_Rewards_of_Leadership

Alicia Schwarz, our Director of Instructional Design Operations and Program Manager, discusses how leadership at SweetRush is about empowering those around you.

I recently had a member of a large team I worked with reach out to me to share his thoughts on our team and the work we did together. He and I were two of the first people on the team, a team that grew from a small core team to over 50 people at its peak. A team of creators that have changed, flexed, excelled, and continues to do so after three-plus years. An amazing team.

He thanked me. He thanked me for listening. He thanked me for trusting him. And he thanked me for creating an environment that empowers others to problem-solve, create, and relate in their own way. He shared that my trust gave him confidence. That my confidence empowered him to create and communicate with clients and stakeholders in a new way. I was really taken aback and moved by his words, his honesty, and his thanks. 

Our conversation caused me to reflect and think about leadership, and the power and responsibility one has in a leadership role. Four key words resonated with me: Listen. Trust. Challenge. Empower.

Listen to your team. Really listen to find out what they are passionate about and learn what their strengths are. Take the time to truly understand them.

Trust your team. Help to build their confidence and do what you can to support them. Recognize where they may need help, and where they excel and can help others.

Challenge your team to look at things from different perspectives and in new ways. Help them grow.

Empower your team to share their ideas, make mistakes, test new ideas, and solve problems in their own way. Build on their individuality.  

 Realize the impact you have on others by listening, trusting, challenging, and empowering individuals and amazing teams will form—and amazing work will be created.