Purposeful HR

Purposeful HR
Purposeful HR

Welcome to Purposeful HR

Welcome to Purposeful HR

Monday, August 4, 2014

Servant Leadership in an Unexpected Place

Last Thursday, I had the honor of participating in Cenikor’s Women Helping Women luncheon at our Houston long-term treatment facility.  We host this event for professional women to come out and show support for the female clients in treatment.  It is a “friend raiser” event.

I have attended this event each year since it started, and it is always so moving, but this year the guest speaker was absolutely inspirational.  Laura Schilling, Global Account Manager for Halliburton, spoke to the ladies on the topic of “Finding Your Voice as a Leader”.

Laura spoke about her career in one of the most male dominated fields there is, oil and gas.  This resonated with our female clients, as they make up only about 12-15% of total population in our long-term programs.

Laura shared her story about her progress within Halliburton, focusing on her career in the field, in coveralls, steel toed boots and a hard hat.  She is a tiny thing, about 5’2”, so it was fascinating to hear how she found her voice and was able to lead male dominated crews on rigs in the oilfield.  While in the field in Colorado, she successfully grew her team from ~350 employees to ~1100.  Laura has also spent time as the liaison for Halliburton with Wall Street analysts prior to her current position as Global Account Manager.  Laura got laughs and applause with her statement of “I prefer steel toes to stilettos”.

Here are a few points Laura shared on leadership that resonated with everyone:

1)    Think about and understand WHY you want to lead.  Character is non-negotiable as a leader and understanding your purpose as a leader will provide the foundation for how you lead.

2)    Determine what you are passionate about. Then figure out your key message and what actions your message can influence that can make a difference.  Be bold and consistent!
a.    Laura was passionate about safety and professionalism.  In the oilfield, professionalism was not the norm, but her passion for the safety of the men, getting them home alive to their families, came through in her consistent message and won over the crews.

3)    Lead with questions instead of thinking that as a leader you should have all the answers.  Asking questions promotes trust and better decision making.
a.   Not being the expert allowed Laura to explore more options and utilize the expertise of those around her.  Asking questions and using the knowledge of the team built strong working relationships.

4)    Listening is a lost art.  Most people do not listen to understand, they listen to respond. 
a.   This was key to Laura being able to manage so many crews successfully.  When you listen and show understanding as a leader, people know you care.

5)    Be authentic.  Find your voice so you can be genuine and an effective role model.
a.   While you may “adopt” some characteristics from other great leaders you have worked with, you have to develop your own leadership style that is consistent with your purpose for leading.

6)    Servant Leadership.  How can you help those around you be successful and thrive?
a.   Laura’s genuine commitment to ensuring the success of her team and her actions consistent with her message created an environment where team members had a voice and could thrive in their careers.

It was so refreshing to know that servant leadership is alive and well in a company as large as Halliburton and to hear about the success Laura has achieved because of her service and dedication to others.  

This was an empowering speech for our clients and inspirational for the female professionals in the room.  Laura Schilling is an amazing example of a successful servant leader and I’m so glad she shared her story with us.

I hope you have the opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

1 comment:

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