Deb Johnson Rosenberg ’79

Posted on September 2nd, 2016 by

Director of Retirement Plan Consulting

Stiles Financial Services, Inc.

Deb Rosenberg

What advice can you share with students about developing their leadership skills?

  • Lead through inspiration not intimidation.  Don’t ever be rude and condescending — you will never build loyalty that way (trust me, I had a boss like this).
  • Recognize and reward people for doing a great job!  Don’t ever take credit for their work or they will never again work hard for you.
  • Admit what you don’t know — you can’t possibly know everything and you need to find people whose skills can complement yours.
  • Look for people’s strengths and build on them — help them figure out what they enjoy and are good at.
  • Know when to back out of the picture and let your employees shine.
  • Don’t micromanage — your employees will assume you don’t trust them.
  • Avoid last minute tasks and fire drills — it will make your employees nuts.
  • Don’t expect your team to work harder than you do!
  • Understand your client (internal or external) and how to deliver exceptional products and services
  • Do the above while making a profit — understand what drives your costs and don’t apologize for needing to charge accordingly.  Identify what you’re doing well and why you’re worth it!

What is the best advice you received to develop your own leadership skills:

  • Never stop learning and growing.
  • Be open to new ideas and to people with different ideas than yours.
  • Learn how to work effectively in a team — even with people with enormous egos or the people who are quiet and need to be encouraged to contribute ideas.
  • You can be “Minnesota Nice” without getting walked all over.
  • Men aren’t better than you!

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