The late Becky Lockhart, Utah's First Female Speaker of the House of Representatives

“I embrace and accept the talents and skills of others on the team and welcome their input and suggestions. My ego is secondary. I don’t need the credit. I demand accountability for outcomes and deadlines…I offered my colleagues something different; a service leader model.”

These words were written by Becky Lockhart, Utah’s first speaker of the House, just months before she passed away. They illustrate how her style was different. I hadn’t intended to post anything when I got up this morning, I just got to work on her biography as usual, but my computer file opened to these words this morning, and I wanted to share. Here is the full excerpt:

“Leadership can and does take many forms. I believe in empowerment of the team members, inclusive style, collaborative, listening. Setting clear objectives, but giving those I lead the space to achieve and contribute their creativity to solving problems.

“I embrace and accept the talents and skills of others on the team and welcome their input and suggestions.My ego is secondary. I don’t need the credit. I demand accountability for outcomes and deadlines. I am unafraid of ideas and discussion. The best solutions can come from unexpected places and openness to learning from other’s perspectives. I value, honor and reward loyalty to the organization, its mission, and those in authority.

“I am proud of how I changed the culture of the House of Representatives as Speaker. The original role of the Speaker is to serve the body. However, this ideal had sadly devolved to the body serving the Speaker with a top- down, dictatorial style. I offered my colleagues something different; a service leader model. I traveled the State so I could have one-on-one discussions with each of my colleagues. Then, I put the right people on the committees where they could best use their strengths. I empowered each legislator by helping them understand that they could run whatever bills they felt were right.

“The legislative process worked as it was meant to work where bills rose and fell on their own merits. Legislators passed bills because they got their 38 votes in the House, rather than one vote from the Speaker’s office under the old model.”

P.S. this came from Becky’s personal notes in response to the question: “Describe your style of leadership.” It would have been exceptionally rare for Becky to talk about herself like this in a speech or even one-on-one because she never wanted it to be about her.

Posted by Rhonda Lauritzen , Founder and Author at @Evalogue.Life . Lauritzen is currently writing a biography of Becky Lockhart. (Posted 03-08-2017)

 

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