Bruce Lee -

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I have always approached my work and particularly my leadership role as relationship-based.  I strive hard to maintain positive relationships because that’s one of the most effective ways I get my work done and I like working in a positive environment.  Part of my success at the university where I work is the informal network I have developed across the years which have become a source of personal/career support as well as information. I also view each relationship with other people as being unique and therefore I adapt my communication style and the way I interact with them.

As I was going through some files on my computer earlier tonight, I came across a nomination form for a staff recognition award that was submitted by a co-worker on my behalf in 2007. It read:

“I can best describe Joe Sabado as the ‘Bruce Lee’ of managers.  People would ask Bruce Lee what his ‘system’ was, and he would say he didn’t have a ‘system’.  His style was the style of no style.  Likewise, Joe doesn’t have a management style, because no single method works with everyone, or at all times.”

 “Joe is a master at understanding people, and their current situation.  Joe always looks to adapt himself to the other person, and even to the other person’s mood.”

I work with IT and business colleagues with different communication styles and varying backgrounds. Adaptability in how I communicate is essential to my role.  There are those I work who prefers me to get straight to the point and those that don’t. What’s the point of speaking technical jargon those if who I am speaking with does not understand what I am talking about?

Self-awareness and my ability to recognize the emotions and moods of those I am interacting with are skills I continue to learn. Specially in my IT leadership role, I think soft skills are in my opinion just as critical as my technical knowledge. Ultimately, those we serve and work with are people and not machines.

How would you define your leadership style?