I recently devoured a book by former White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Alyssa Mastromonaco. Written about her time working with Barack Obama’s administration, “Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House” is hands down my favourite book so far this year.
As with any book I really enjoy, I read Alyssa’s book way too fast. Reading her book also reminded me of Obama’s biography “Dreams From My Father” which I read last year and also enjoyed.
Alyssa also wrote in her book, “You should always be prepared to defend your choices, whether just to yourself (sometimes this is the hardest) or to your coworkers, your friends, or your family. The quickest way for people to lose confidence in your ability to ever make a decision is for you to pass the buck, shrug your shoulders, or otherwise wuss out. Learning how to become a decision maker, and how you ultimately justify your choices, can define who you are.”
Leadership is a topic I love to read about and probably one of the biggest challenges right now in my work. I am a band leader, a music director and a writer running my own ship of work and projects. I love leading, but it can be incredibly difficult and disheartening when things go wrong.
Another great quote I heard this week on charting the trail came from the Inverse Podcast:
“When you’re heading on a trail that you’ve never been on before, when you’re going a direction that you’ve never travelled, in a land that you’ve never been in, spend twice as much of your time looking over your shoulder where you’ve come from as you do where you’re going, so that you can fix the landmarks in your mind the way that they will appear when you turn to take the trail home. and you’ll never be lost.”
– Rev Dr Terry LeBlanc