Leadership Lessons from Our New Book
Get invested: As interviewee Christy Coleman wrote, "Museums are not neutral space. We may not be activists, but we're not neutral. If your community is in crisis and you're an institution that has the resources to add to that conversation to bring it out of crisis, you are failing if you're not actively involved in the needs of your community."
Be a trust builder: Museums succeed on the relationships they build in their communities, on their staffs, on their boards. It's that simple. Relationships matter. So do words. And deeds.
Embrace the greater good: Leaders are the moral compass for their institutions. Don't check your values at the door, bring them to work. Every day.
Create a candid culture: Honesty underpins trust.
Up your frequency: Listen, listen, listen, and remember to get out of your office and know who you serve. As interviewee Azuka MuMin puts it: "Leadership has taught me who I am as a person, vulnerable and exposed, and the better I know myself, the better I am able to lead."
Learn and grow together: Leadership is a process. It's learning. Invest in your people whether they are board members, volunteers or staff, leaders or followers.
Get integrated: Read widely, think across spectrums. Who or what adds to your institutional narrative?
Tap your entire network: It's not all about you. Growing a museum is about being open to possibility.
Commit to leadership: Leadership matters. Invest in your staff, give them the tools to become leaders. Good leaders are problem solvers and collaborators. They're also good followers.
Be accountable: Take the heat. Move forward. Don't play the blame game. You're a leader for a reason. For those of you who will be at the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) annual meeting this week in Philadelphia, we will see you there. And if you'd like a copy of Leadership Matters: Leading Museums in an Age of Discord, we'd be happy to sign it for you, Thursday, August 29, from 3:00-4:00 pm at the Rowman & Littlefield booth in the Exhibit Hall. In the meantime, lead well, with courage, empathy, and vision. And if you see any of our interviewees in Philadelphia this week, be sure to stop and thank them. Joan Baldwin & Anne Ackerson