Chelsea Harris has always looked for leaders — and decided if she couldn’t find them, she’d become one. She took that approach as a child on her youth softball teams, and has carried that mindset throughout her career. Most recently that was at Louisiana Economic Development, where her work included launching 13 websites and a variety of national campaigns, promoting the state at events across the continental U.S. and overseeing a software product that matched Louisiana employers with job seekers.
Her creativity and passion for finding solutions to complex challenges makes her a perfect fit for our team at Success Labs, where she’ll be working as our development, strategy and technology consultant. Read on to learn more about her philosophy on leadership development.
Leadership Development Deserves Active Management
At Louisiana Economic Development, Chelsea was involved with digital marketing, communications, brand management, strategic planning and workforce technology. She says she sees a parallel between economic development and leadership development: Many people think they both happen organically.
Economic development mostly doesn’t just happen — and, on the occasion when it does, businesses and communities don’t necessarily grow in the best way possible. Professional development is similar, in some ways, because many people aren’t born with the skills they need to lead. “For example, in the marketing world, for years I thought people were either creative or they weren’t,” she says. “I didn’t realize creativity is something you can learn, something that can be broken into steps and followed. To see what Success Labs has done with competencies – how to enhance your strengths and develop weaknesses, that to me is remarkable.”
Leadership Development Strengthens Your Whole Business, Not Just Individuals
Leadership development goes beyond giving people the skills to take on new roles, Chelsea says. The very fact that you’re investing in them can help boost employee engagement, create alignment across the organization and make it stronger as a whole. Training and development makes employees feel like they matter, she says, and as a result they’ll more fully buy into the organization and its mission.
“I’ve worked with organizations that didn’t take the time to develop their people, and it was harder for them to remain passionate and excited about being a part of the team,” she says. She encourages company leaders to see leadership development as something that can strengthen their entire organization, not just individuals. “When you invest in your people, they can carry your brand even further. They feel valued, inspired and want to participate in new ways,” Chelsea says.
It’s Worth Taking Time to Build Connections
Chelsea says playing softball taught her a lot about being a leader on and off the field. She saw the difference a strong, collaborative coach could make in the performance of a team, inspiring them to come together and achieve their shared goals. It made a strong impression on her, and she’s made it a point to keep that in mind in her own leadership style.
She says she’s looking forward to bringing that perspective to her work at Success Labs, where she’ll be working with individuals and teams to develop their leadership skills and personal brands, as well as helping organizations use technology to better manage succession planning. “I’m excited to bring that support system, that education component to new managers and emerging leaders.”
Chelsea still plays softball in a co-ed league, enjoys exploring festivals with her beau, Brandon, and spending time with her blue Great Dane, Jacques-Pierre.
Contact us to learn about strengthening your team and developing your leaders.
Success Labs is a leadership development and management consulting firm in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For more than 25 years, our expert team of consultants has worked with hundreds of companies to explore their business potential and improve their company and cultural performance. Contact us to get proactive about your people strategy.