Part two of the leadership in libraries webinar is Eva Dahlbach from Stockholm University Library, here she is head of the department of customer service.
Her personal story of leadership is one of inspiration, learning, and collaboration.
Eva developed her skills at a young age, and became involved in a leadership environment through Scouts, this she maintains paved her way for professional development as a leader. Being a leader was fun, you became the organiser the planner and you had control over each process and decision.
Role models where many, at a young age it was her grandma, as she moved into adulthood mangers and mentors who trusted her and gave her confidence thought her many ways of leadership.
Good managers and mentors will listen and trust you and discuss and develop your ideas, it is reciprocal you cannot do it alone. Along with this is you need to incorporate your colleagues in this journey you need their support and more importantly their guidance.
Leadership skills need to be able to adapt and mold to the many different contexts you as a professional will enter into. No two libraries are the same, you need to learn these different skills and practice these skills as you move through your profession. There is “no one way” you need to listen and support the people around you.
The best advice Eva gives is developing your colleagues this is as important if not more important than developing the organisation itself, they grow everything grows!
Be honest with yourself, you and nobody is perfect. You will need to admit a few truths to yourself along the way, when things don’t work out – walk away. Admit when you don’t know how to proceed, admit when you need help – don’t get defensive show you are not perfect!
This honesty will only come if you reflect on your leadership decisions, what are your weakness? Where do I need to improve? Test your leadership, learn and find inspiration in everything, good or bad. Learn from colleagues ask them for feedback and in return give feedback.
Leadership in libraries is about teaching people responsibility, showing that you have confidence in your team. Mentoring them and assigning them tasks, being with them through each step is true leadership.
Good mentors don’t do it alone, they don’t claim to be the experts, they call on others for knowledge and expertise and they lead with everyone as a team.