Part of my holiday viewing was The Trial of the Chicago 7 – a documentary about protesters at the 1968 Democratic Convention. The fact that Aaron Sorkin wrote it was enough to entice me but it proved to be an illuminating view on a piece of history that I really knew little about.

All seven on trial were arrested for their role in protesting the Vietnam War but that’s where the similarities ended. Two were Yippies – radically left members of the anti-war protests. Two were members of the Students for a Democratic Society who approached their advocacy with more intellect than charisma. One was an older father who was literally a Boy Scout leader, engaged in the protests through total non-violence, and two were doctoral students and individual protesters who were later acquitted on all charges.

It was striking to me to see the differences in how these seven approached the same cause. I was reminded that leadership can come in many forms and there is no one “type” of personality that is more successful than others in motivating people to act. The best way to inspire others is to be authentic.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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