Leadership Development Mad Lib

With more than 15 years experience in communications and human relations, Kelli Huff currently serves as the director of human resources at SicolaMartin. Kelli has expertise in all areas of leadership development, performance and career management, with a particular passion for culture branding. She has a degree in communication from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and began her career as a news producer for NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates. Married to a creative director, her two children are predisposed to be future advertising execs.


I’m a people person, and as a human resource leader, I get to spend the majority of my time with people. I love it because I’ve observed that my leadership abilities evolve through relationships with others. My style of management is formed from qualities of respect, openness, observation, good humor, and knowing that I’m not always right. This is a style I bring into my organization. 

Organizational development is much like leadership development. You focus on key strengths and attributes, paying attention to values and point of views, and identifying areas of growth then implementing plans for positive change.
It’s not terribly complicated, but it can be complex. I recently consulted on a leadership retreat for a communications agency. There was one simple fill-in-the-blank statement that was posed to each executive:


The future success of our company depends on ________.


But because we’re dealing with people who each have their own world view, goals and objectives, the answers were anything but simple. There was much conversation and respectful debate about what success even means, whiteboards and vats of coffee, but through open dialogue and a genuine desire for a united mission, the organization is on a path to success, with committed leaders.



The same exercise can be applied to personal leadership development, and at times, can be even more compounded since you are pulling from within; and although you may learn from and lean on others, you alone can identify who you are as a leader. So please don’t be your worst critic, and ask yourself:


Success means ________ to me. My future success depends on ________.


And let the responses flow. Think of it as the leadership version of Mad Libs™. Don’t limit yourself, and see where your mind takes you. Start to identify themes and begin to put together a plan of action. Take it step by step and pretty soon you’ll be running.



Connect with Kelli on her blogLinkedin, and Twitter.

Today’s post is the second of the SOS Leadership Austin Leading Ladies’ Blog Series. The purpose of this blog series is to share the stories and insights of women who are answering the call to leadership in their lives. Come back each Friday to read more!

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