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Connecting: one of the keys to centered leadership

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UMB’s Dana Abraham spoke to the Saint Louis University Cook School of Business this week. Here is an excerpt from her talk.

Dana

The leadership model is advancing, and evolving into a better place than ever before.

What began as a specific push for progress among women in leadership roles spurred the study1 that formed “Centered Leadership” – a model that has served successful professionals around the globe. Common themes appeared in this study, and the data was later validated by a survey of 2,500 executives.

They called the resulting model centered leadership. It’s about having a well of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual strength that drives personal achievement, and in turn inspires others to follow.

One of the elements to this model is connecting.

Connecting: Identify who can help you grow, build stronger relationships and increase your sense of belonging.

People with strong networks and good mentors enjoy more promotions, higher pay and greater career satisfaction.

One thing that differentiates a leader from a manager is the leader’s ability to figure out where to go to get things done. In order to get things done, you need three types of essential networks.

1)     Work Resource – The people in this network assist you with projects and give you access to information and ideas.

2)     Personal Support: These are your personal counselors, your friends. They provide a safe place to vent.

3)     Career Support: These include your mentors, coaches and sponsors.

HOW to network –

  • First of all, don’t start with an actual networking event. Instead, work on meaningful encounters with others. For example, getting to know people by working with them on a committee or taking part in a shared interest.
  • Remember to give, not just take. Effective networks are earned. There is a need for reciprocity when people receive—they feel obligated to reciprocate. Focus on the value you add to others and what you bring to these relationships. Do you have expertise, a point of view from another generation, information, referrals?
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When I first joined UMB, I tried to connect with our largest and most profitable commercial banking clients. I needed to prove myself to these business partners. I laid out my service model, but didn’t have any referrals. It wasn’t until I first referred business to them that they saw the value I could bring. Today, commercial bankers are my leading sources of new business.

It’s also important to take a long-term approach. Build relationships before you need them so you can save time in the future.

What’s the difference between a mentor and a sponsor?

Mentorship is important to our personal development, but sponsorship will help us break through. A sponsor is willing to go beyond the role of mentor to stick out his/her own neck to create an opportunity for a protégée.

A mentor dispenses wisdom, while a sponsor gets involved. Sponsors believe in you, but mentors don’t always go that far.

I have been fortunate to have sponsors. My direct supervisor has put my name into the hat several times and has an interest in my personal development. I also have peers from other lines of business who I would view as sponsors—people who would recommend me for a project or development opportunity.

Networks are about reaching out, showing interest in another person, and offering help – a true key to professional growth. Authenticity matters, so develop an approach that fits your personality and style.

 

footnote
1 – A study was launched by McKinsey and Company to determine what drives and sustains successful female leaders – this was done to help younger women navigate the paths to leadership to learn how organizations could get the best out of this group of talented associates. This work was lead and later published by Joanna Barsh, Suzie Cranston and Geoffery Lewis. They interviewed 85 successful women from across the globe and in diverse fields.


Dana Abraham is president of the Private Wealth Management Division and is responsible for the delivery of comprehensive financial services to high-net-worth clients. Her areas of focus include Wealth Planning, Private Banking, Personal Trust, Investment Management and Insurance. She joined UMB in 2005 and has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Abraham earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in both accounting and economics from the University of Louisiana. She is a graduate of Leadership Overland Park and Kansas City Tomorrow Leadership programs.



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This February: Don’t be silent – GO RED

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Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. And, if that statistic isn’t startling enough, consider that heart disease causes one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.

As the co-chair of the American Heart Association 2014 Go Red For Women Campaign, I am committed to educating as many people as possible about ways to reduce and end heart disease. 

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We all have women we hold close to our hearts. Whether it is a mother, daughter, wife, sister, cousin, or friend, they all deserve to know the life-saving knowledge about heart disease and how to prevent it. There are several false assumptions that people believe such as: heart disease is only for older people, it doesn’t affect women that are physically fit, and that it’s more of a ‘man’s’ disease than for women. The fact is that these are nothing more than myths.

This month, I’m asking all women and their loved ones to encourage each other to join the Go Red For Women movement. Started more than a decade ago, the Go Red For Women Movement has saved more than 650,000 women’s lives and counting. Raising awareness through participation in events such as National Wear Red Day®on February 7 is a great way to get the conversation going with those around you. In addition to that event, there are many ways to get involved – find out how here.

And finally, I encourage you to start the journey toward heart disease prevention and education with a focus on YOU first. Knowing your risk and practicing a healthy lifestyle are the first steps to becoming an advocate and an example for the cause. From there, you are set to begin adding to those 650,000 lives already saved. This is your call to action: Go Red!

 

ABOUT GO RED FOR WOMEN

The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement has been impacting the health of women for 10 years. More than 650,000 women’s lives have been saved, but the fight is far from over. Now is the time to shout louder, stand stronger and demand change. It’s time to come together in a movement that is not just FOR women, but BY women. It’s time for women to Go Red. Visit GoRedForWomen.org for more information or call 1-888-MY-HEART. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s, with additional support from our cause supporters.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Dana Abraham is president of the Private Wealth Management Division and is responsible for the delivery of comprehensive financial services to high-net-worth clients. Her areas of focus include Wealth Planning, Private Banking, Personal Trust, Investment Management and Insurance. She joined UMB in 2005 and has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Abraham earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in both accounting and economics from the University of Louisiana. She is a graduate of Leadership Overland Park and Kansas City Tomorrow Leadership programs.



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