As assistant director of Leadership Johnson County, Kate Taylor helps program participants hone their leadership skills as they build community awareness. Taylor, who lives in Trafalgar, can speak to the program’s effectiveness: She participated in LJC programming before joining the organization. When not inspiring others, she enjoys traveling and spending her downtime with her husband, Greg, and their children, Ella and Grayson. Here, we catch up with Taylor for her thoughts on leadership and community.
What’s the most challenging aspect of being a leader?
Communication is key to being a good leader. Being able to communicate effectively across generations and different personality types is the most challenging aspect for being a good leader. It is a leader’s responsibility to understand the different ways that people are motivated to give their best and challenge and encourage them to do so.
Do you believe anyone has the potential to be a leader? Why or why not?
The age-old question: nature or nurture? I believe both are true. There are some people who may possess characteristics or attributes that lend themselves to leadership, but I also believe that anyone who has the desire to lead can work on skills to achieve that goal.
What is your personal approach to leadership at LJC and in your community?
LJC focuses on a collaborative leadership model. When solving a problem, have you created a shared vision for the solution, brought the right people and skills to the table, prototyped and tested? This model focuses on and believes in the process. It is all about action, action, action.
How would you describe your personal leadership style?
It depends who you ask. My children would say bossy but loving, my husband would say passionate, my co-workers would say optimistic and fun. I truly enjoy working with all types of people and finding creative solutions to problems. At the end of the day, life and leadership are all about relationships.
What life lessons have you learned through your travels?
I have been fortunate to have great parents, teachers and mentors along my life journey. A few of my favorite life lessons include the following: You can learn something from everyone; faith without works is dead; and life is short — take a trip!