By: Samantha Mitchell, Vice President, Human Resources
As published in the Fall edition of The Scrivener
Leadership is a journey of discovery that taps into the personal and the professional. It is an ongoing and intentional exercise in recognizing and unleashing potential and applying the collective strength of individuals and teams to the strategic goals of your organization.
Leadership skills include an elixir of critical thinking, creative problem solving, clear communication and intercultural sensitivity. Leadership demands adaptability, resiliency and empathy. Though difficult to master, effective leadership can transform a good organization into a great one.
At the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC (LTSA), we recently completed our Leadership Development Program to explore what it means to be a leader and how a leadership philosophy aligns with the organization’s vision, mission and business strategies. The program provided a group of employees the opportunity to learn skills and apply frameworks to cultivate their leadership capabilities while developing teams and individuals to feel successful, confident and empowered in their work. The program exemplifies our commitment to continually invest in people and capabilities, one of four strategic pillars that guides our organization.
The diverse group of participants were chosen from across LTSA divisions, as leadership comes in many forms and is executed at many levels within an organization. Leadership does not solely come from a job title, it is found throughout an organization that places value on everyone’s contribution.
Various aspects of leadership include listening, championing, reimaging, knowing when to step in and, equally important, when to get out of the way so that a team can get on with it. Though deployed in many ways, leadership is about clearly and regularly articulating organizational direction, providing clarity of purpose, and setting up helpful guardrails. Empowering staff to connect to achieving business goals is fundamental to a healthy, engaged workplace.
How do we collectively create a leadership philosophy aligned with LTSA’s vison, mission, and business strategies? What is needed to embed a learning or growth mindset? How do we strengthen cross-functional relationships, establish shared language and frameworks, build trust and confidence, and increase appreciation for diverse approaches and perspectives? These and other topics were covered during a six-month period, delivered over four modules, each with a full-day in-person session. In between modules, participants applied their new learnings in service to their teams and the organization.
The approach of the Leadership Development Program was designed to support managers and directors in their leadership journey, through self-discovery to feeling equipped to lead teams and elevate their impact on the organization. The experience and feedback of the first cohort exceeded expectations. It strengthened a foundational understanding of leadership and the building blocks needed to craft a clear leadership trajectory. Additionally, the in-person sessions helped build a network of new relationships across the organization through the shared leadership experience.
One participant noted that the program had given them a useful framework to navigate through difficult conversations and provide constructive feedback. When modelled consistently, it allows them to foster a positive culture and a set of values that helps the company, as a whole, to grow and innovate.
Another participant spoke about the profound impact of supporting a growth mindset and replacing “yes but” with “yes and”. Their favourite learnings were to stay in the stretch-zone, even when uncomfortable, because that is where growth lives, and to create and foster generative conversations where teams can build on each other’s ideas.
LTSA is committed to supporting a real property market that is trusted and transparent. Equipped with a well-defined strategy and effective leadership skills, our organization is more nimble, accountable and focused on achieving our goals.
Investing in the learning and development of our employees helps us adapt to continued change, ride out market fluctuations and reinforce a growth mindset. New ways of working allow us to deliver the ongoing digitization of products and services as well as deepen our innovative customer-centric approach required today and into the future.