Leadership in Action is our ongoing series featuring inspiring leaders who are taking conscious leadership into their workplaces and lives.
Melinda Stinnett is Managing Director of Stinnett & Associates, a professional services advisory firm with offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, and a 2019 recipient of One of the Best Places to Work awards.
Melinda and two of her team attended Crafted Leadership's Lead by Design leadership program in early 2020. A highly engaged learner, Melinda immediately began sharing some of the tools she learned with her team.
What’s a habit you had to embrace to advance your leadership?
My focus in recent years is building continued self-awareness of my leadership style, strengths and areas of improvement. As I have attended leadership courses, including the Crafted Leadership series, I find those “aha” moments that reveal something about me that I was not as aware of the most impactful. I think it is imperative that leaders build that awareness so they can reflect on the impact they have on others and make any necessary course corrections.
Which Crafted Leadership tool or practice is your favorite? Why does it work for you?
I love the “openness to discovery” and specifically the “above-and-below-the-line” tools. It has been easy to introduce those basic, but critical, elements at Stinnett. I believe our team very much appreciated the profound impact those concepts can have on our interactions both at work and at home.
What’s the best investment you’ve made in developing your leadership?
I truly believe that dedicating three days to participate in Lead by Design by Crafted Leadership was the best time I have spent focusing on my leadership skills. It is often hard for leaders to create that type of space in their calendars — everyone is busy. But the benefits gained through the training have been significant and evident to those around me.
What is the key quality in yourself that got you to where you are?
I believe my empathy for and ability to listen to others has paved the way for me throughout my life. The combination of those skills has built deep, strong, and trusting relationships that continue to flourish. I greatly appreciate and agree with Crafted Leadership’s Resonant Listening tools — they were excellent reinforcement of empathy and listening from which we can all benefit.
What’s the very best thing that comes from having good leaders in our world?
Good leaders beget more good leaders. Starting at very early ages, we often learn from watching others. Those strong leaders who demonstrate how, when, and why to engage their teams can share valuable lessons with those around them.
How do you foster an inclusive work environment, embracing differences? Is that important and why?
At Stinnett we have formed an Inclusion & Diversity Committee called GRACE – Give respect to those around you and make sure they feel accepted. Show everyone that you care. Empathy goes a long way. While our committee is fairly new, we are excited about the great work they are and will continue to do. One of my favorite focuses are the “Care Greatly Conversations,” which are intended to create a space for our team members to connect and grow. We value our team members and believe that by fully embracing an inclusive and diverse culture we empower our team members to fully develop true, authentic leadership.