Leadership Profile- Dr. Jeff King
When asked about his best leadership advice, Dr. Jeff King, Co-Director of the OSU Leadership Center and Associate Professor at Ohio State, simply says “Listen”.
He added that most of the time, if we took the time to intentionally listen to one another, we would realize that we’re really working toward the same goals, and that listening allows us to work together to find common ground.
King said that his 4-H educator and program assistant were significant mentors growing up that led him to this leadership philosophy and to the career path he loves today, and that he continues to receive professional support and mentorship from a variety of faculty members at Ohio State.
In the classroom, King loves to see the ‘lightbulbs’ go off for his students as they learn to apply the concepts discussed in class. “Leadership content is different,” King said. “It’s not ‘tell me what I need to do’- it’s a reflection and a change process, it’s a different style of engagement”.
As a workshop facilitator at the OSU Leadership Center, King said that he loves meeting and working with a diverse audience, which includes both ‘front line’ employees and top executives.
In both settings, he enjoys the opportunity to challenge people’s perceptions and disrupt the thought processes that drive our behavior in order to establish behavior change. He is particularly interested in teaching about emotional and social intelligence, and enjoys the challenge of discovering where people are and exactly how he can help them move forward.
Personally, King likes to take on a supportive role as a leader, seeking out ways to encourage others, establishing relationships, and listening to understand, but he is comfortable changing his approach in response to various situations.
“When I need to be upfront I’ll be upfront, whether that’s advocating for a program, person, or organization,” King said. “But I also realize that sometimes I need to take a step back and recognize how I can support others around me”.
King says that every leader can benefit by growing their level of empathy. He added that caring for others genuinely is so important, and that meaningful relationships must be established in order to move people and projects forward.
Blog post created by Courtney Fulton, OSU Leadership Center Marketing Intern