Meet Aimee Allen, our Sales and Marketing Coordinator at ConvergenceCoaching, and wrangler of the many responsibilities that fall within those areas. Among those responsibilities, Aimee champions our email and newsletter communications, directs our social media presence and coordinates our sales meetings and related activities.
Prior to joining ConvergenceCoaching, Aimee spent over seven years as a senior marketing manager at DHG (Dixon Hughes Goodman) building out the growth campaigns for their national industry and service lines. After leaving DHG, Aimee led her own consulting practice helping professional service firms develop growth and awareness campaigns. In addition to her role at ConvergenceCoaching, Aimee is pursuing her MBA in Leadership. She enjoys spending time with her family, friends and boxer dog and being outside working around her cabin.
We’ve greatly enjoyed getting to know Aimee and are excited to feature her perspective in this month’s spotlight so that you can get to know her better, too.
ConvergenceCoaching: Whose leadership style do you admire most and why?
AA: Without a doubt, my grandparents. Both grew up in the Great Depression, my grandfather fought in World War II, and they raised five children and then took me in and raised me in their retirement years. From them, I grew up learning the traits of graciousness, humility, integrity, hard work and respect. These traits set the foundation for who I have become in my professional career, as well as the person I am.
ConvergenceCoaching: What is it about a leader that you believe makes others genuinely want to follow them?
AA: Integrity and authenticity. I believe that if you do what you know to be right and true for the betterment of all, not self, while being open and honest, people will want to follow you. This does not mean that you will always make the right decisions, however, by being honest and open about your successes and failures, you lead by example. This allows others to know it’s “ok” to learn through failure, rather than trying to be perfect. It also creates a learning culture, which is a foundation of great leadership.
ConvergenceCoaching: What is the most challenging part of being a leader? What is your advice for successfully overcoming this challenge?
AA: Asking for help. When in a leadership position or wanting to be seen as a leader, one of the biggest challenges I have had in my career has been in asking for help. Another challenging part of being a leader that I have learned is being okay with not doing all of the work. This does not mean that you are not willing, but sometimes the best thing you can do is trust your team and delegate some of the day-to-day tactical work or tasks so that you can focus on strategic issues.
When I ask for help and also let go, there can be a sense of fear that arises because I don’t want to appear as if I am not able to do the job or that I’m weak. When in fact, I have learned that authentically asking for help and trusting your team to do the work are signs of strength in leadership – not weakness.
ConvergenceCoaching: Do you believe that great leaders are born or made? Why?
AA: I believe that it is a blend. I do not believe that everyone is meant to be a leader. I think that great leaders have innate traits instilled within them that cannot be “made,” such as drive, dedication, passion, devotion, and a willingness to want to do better for all. However, even with those traits present, not all leaders see it in themselves. Therefore, it may take a mentor or coach to help identify and help develop confidence to bring that leader to life!
ConvergenceCoaching: Do you have a favorite movie or book that you feel exemplifies what it means to be a great leader?
AA: The Bible. Without a doubt the best book exemplifying leadership is the Bible. It all comes back to humility, integrity, hard work and respect while also being authentic and true, for the betterment of all, not self.
ConvergenceCoaching: What would you like ConvergenceCoaching blog readers to know about you?
AA: I am quirky. More than mildly sarcastic. I love to smile, have fun and try to find the positive in every situation.
In all seriousness, when it comes to leadership, what I would want the readers to know is that it is a journey, not a destination. It is not about being perfect. I spent so much time trying to be perfect because I believed that as a leader, perfection was essential. When I realized there are opportunities to learn and grow, through embracing successes and failures, the real leadership began.
I have also learned that you do not have to be in a leadership role to be seen as a leader. Being viewed as a leader, even if you do not see yourself as one, is one of the biggest compliments that can be given and should not be taken lightly.
Aimee’s leadership challenge about not having to do all the work as a leader is an important one. We don’t delegate work for a number of reasons – thinking we can do it better/faster ourselves, not wanting to burden the person we’d be delegating to, or not wanting to give up the task because it’s easy and we admittedly like it even though it’s not the best use of our time, for example. The problem that not delegating to and enrolling others creates is a lack of development and a culture of disempowerment. We help young professionals grow by giving them new responsibilities, we also free ourselves up to work on projects and tasks that are of our highest and best use, and we instill trust in our working relationships.
What is your perspective on delegation as it relates to leadership and development? What do you do to ensure that you’re helping your staff and future leaders succeed? Share with us in the comments box below!