Leadership Assignment: An Interview of Rosalind Lett

Introduction

This paper discusses Rosalind Lett’s leadership qualities and how those qualities have made her be an effective leader.

The Leadership Experience of Rosalind Lett

Rosalind Lett is an individual with many years of leadership experience because she has worked in various libraries and organizations as a leader (Ortiz, 2011). This implies that she has the skills, qualities and the capability of rallying followers behind a common goal. Notably, Rosalind Lett has managed to achieve her goals as a leader while working for various organizations (Ortiz, 2011).

Before joining Clayton County Library System, Rosalind Lett worked as the Associate Director for Public Library Services at the Huntsville-Madison County Library from 2010 to 2013. While at the library, Lett did not just concern herself with the library’s services, she also went further to ensure that the library’s users could also get understandable information pertaining to health matters (Betowt, 2011). This was after she discovered that North Alabama was not adequately served in terms of getting public health information (Betowt, 2011).

While still working at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Lett successfully wrote a grant to the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine to start a program that would bring health literacy skills to all the branches of the library (Betowt, 2011). Consequently, she was able to organize monthly interactive health seminars at the library through partnerships with Huntsville Hospital and health organizations (Betowt, 2011). In the end, Lett was able to help different community members to access crucial information regarding the heart, children’s health, and other health challenges that the people of Alabama were faced with. Due to all these engagements, Rosalind Lett was recognized by the Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers (Betowt, 2011).

Rosalind Lett has further worked as the Knowledge Integration Resources Coordinator at Eskind Biomedical Library belonging to Vanderbilt University from 2002 to 2003 (Clayton County Library System, 2013). While at the library, Lett was involved in training library interns and staff members about knowledge management, presentation skills, records management, and quality service delivery strategies. She also coordinated satellite teleconferencing training, among others (Clayton County Library System, 2013).

Lett has also worked as the Director of the medical library at Crawford Long Hospital, which has since been changed to Emory University Hospital Midtown, from 1992 to 2001. As a leader, she was responsible for financial planning and administration (Clayton County Library System, 2013). Her other responsibilities included personnel management and supervision, and knowledge management. She also provided innovative leadership in respect of strategic planning and management and led project management initiatives. Just in her previous workstation, Rosalind Lett managed to help the library in achieving its goals and objectives (Clayton County Library System, 2013).

Since 2013, Lett has been working as the Director of the Clayton County Library System. She has already met all the employees, branch leaders and departmental heads in all the six branches of the library (Clayton County Library System, 2013). Every effective, experienced leader should be able to know his or her team members, specifically when the leader is just beginning to work in a news organization. This helps the leader to plan and design work strategies that are geared toward achieving the goals and objectives of an organization (Clayton County Library System, 2013).

Through engagement in various leadership positions, Rosalind Lett has been able to motivate many people, including employees and senior leaders of the organizations for which she has worked. A good leader mentors and develops future leaders (Clayton County Library System, 2013). This is what Lett has been doing in every library or organization she has worked or served as a leader. In this regard, Lett has engaged the use of different styles in motivating people with whom she works with a view to trying new approaches in dealing with emerging issues (Clayton County Library System, 2013).

Rosalind Lett can be described as an original thinker who considers alternative approaches to dealing with different situations (Library Journal, 2011). She is also highly innovative, creative and passionate about helping others to succeed as leaders. It is worth noting that some decisions may not always be clear, and a leader may be forced to, at times, deviate from a course and make unconventional decisions in order to succeed in a situation; a leader must be creative and innovative in terms of thinking and making decisions (Library Journal, 2011).

Generally, technology is a crucial component of leadership, especially in the 21st Century (Vonjaturapat & Chaveesuk, 2013). With respect to this, Lett has been able to use technology not just to ensure efficient provision of services, but also to communicate with other leaders, and also to correspond with her follower, especially those working in other branches of the organizations she has been working for. Therefore, Lett’s leadership experience has been that of efficiency, creativity and innovation.

Rosalind Lett’s Leadership Quality

As a leader, Rosalind Lett has a number of leadership qualities which make her stand out. One of them is integrity. Leaders must have integrity, because they are individuals who are highly respected and always listened to (Fitsimmons, 2008). Employees within an organization often seek to work with leaders who are honest and are able to help them meet their commitments (Fitsimmons, 2008). This requires that a leader should not just be honest, but should have strong moral principles and uprightness. Lett embodies this quality and this is the reason she has been successful as a leader in various organizations, including Clayton County Library System (Fitsimmons, 2008).

Effective communication is an imperative quality that every competent leader must-have. In fact, communication skills are among the top qualities that people often look for in leaders (Winston, 2013). In this respect, Lett has mastered organizational communication and also possesses persuasion skills, which is one of the reasons she has been able to win the support of other leaders and her followers when initiating new projects. Her effective communication, especially with regard to dealing with community members, has been enhanced by her public communication skills, which make her be easily understood.

Lett is also trustworthy. Every organization can only work with trustworthy leaders. Trust is increasingly becoming scarce in many organizations (Glacer, 2013). Therefore, trustworthy leaders always beat the competition (Glacer, 2013). Lett fits among trustworthy leaders who can be depended upon. This explains the reason she has been able to work with different organizations, volunteer groups and the general members of the local community. Lett has always been trusted by both peers and followers alike. Being trustworthy has made her successful in her career as a librarian and a health information consultant.

A trustworthy leader has traits of which elements include sharing information with others, honor, working together with followers, dealing with uncertainties effectively, and empowering and developing others (Glacer, 2013). These are exactly what Lett has been throughout her life as a leader. She has always engaged her followers in different initiatives, trained employees on leadership and knowledge management, and helped organizational services to be more accessible to community members.

Good leaders should be motivators if they are to succeed in helping organizations to achieve their goals and objectives (Bertocci, 2009). A leader who is not able to motivate his or her followers is likely to be ineffective because the key to effective leadership is working together with motivated employees (Bertocci, 2009). Therefore, a leader must be able to provide followers with reasons to work hard. Lett has been able to inspire her followers to work hard. She has managed to do this by providing them with the necessary support and by ensuring that they have enough resources to do their work. Moreover, Lett motivates her followers by providing them with training opportunities through which they can sharpen and gain new skills to enable them to be more competent and efficient at work.

The most important leadership quality is knowing the organization one is leading (Schein, 2010). The effectiveness of an organization’s leader significantly depends on how well he or she knows the organization. A leader must know the overall organizational purposes, objectives, goals, and working strategies (Schein, 2010). Such a leader must also know how his or her followers fit into the big picture and the specific roles they play toward achieving the goals and objectives of the organization (Schein, 2010). With respect to this, Lett has always strived to ensure that she understands every organization she has ever led. Her understanding of organizations has always helped her to effectively manage various organizational affairs efficiently.

Charisma is a crucial quality of leadership. Charisma is the quality that makes a leader be attractive to followers. It gives a leader a personal quality that enables him or her to influence or have authority over others, specifically the subjects. In relation to this, Lett is a charismatic leader who has been liked by many of her followers (Parry & Kempster, 2014). Every employee of the organization for which she has worked has always found it easy and attractive to work with her. In addition, Lett has been able to attract the attention of many people who seek her services both as a librarian and as a health information consultant.

Respecting peers and followers is another quality that endears a leader to the people (Maxwell, 2012). A leader needs to be respectful of others, irrespective of their position in society or within an organization. In addition, a respectful leader allows his or her juniors to air their views freely (Maxwell, 2012). If juniors know that their leader respects and values their inputs, they become motivated to work even harder. Lett embodies the quality of respect. She is always respectful of her peers and juniors. In fact, she often enlists the input of her team members.

Conclusion

Rosalind Lett exhibits a lot of leadership qualities that make her a leader who is attractive to her peers and followers. She has managed to build her reputation by serving various public libraries and health organizations in different leadership capacities. Thus, her leadership qualities include integrity, community skills, trustworthiness, motivation, ability to involve juniors in every process of decision making, and charisma. Charisma has always enabled her to engage with other leaders constructively (Maxwell, 2012).

References

Bertocci, D. (2009). Leadership in Organizations: There is a Difference between Leaders and Managers. Lanham, MA: University Press of America.

Betowt, Y. (2011). Huntsville Librarian is National ‘Mover and Shaker’. Web.

Clayton County Library System. (2013). Web.

Fitsimmons, G. (2008). The Foundational Standard: Integrity. Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, 21(1), 24-26.

Glaser, J. (2013). Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results. New York, NY: Springer.

Library Journal. (2011). Healthier for Her. Web.

Maxwell, J. C. (2012). The Law of Respect: Lesson 7 from the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.

Ortiz, E. (2011). Associate Director Rosalind Lett Named 2011 Mover & Shaker. Web.

Parry, K., & Kempster, S. (2014). Charismatic Leadership through the Eyes of Followers. Strategic HR Review, 13(1), 20-23.

Schein, E. (2010). Organizational Culture and Leadership. The Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series, 2, 35-93.

Vonjaturapat, S., & Chaveesuk, S. (2013). Proposed Mobile Technology Acceptance Model of the Information Services in a Library Context. Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Management & Evaluation, 1(1), 385-388.

Winston, M. (2013). Leadership in the Library and Information Science Professions: Theory and Practice. New York, NY: Routledge.