S3E20. Small Town Leadership with Natalie Siston

What can we learn about leadership from someone who grew up in a small town?

Natalie Siston is the founder of Small Town Leadership. She takes the lessons she’s learned from small-town living and applies them to achieve significant business success. Whether you’re a corporate leader looking for an effective way to motivate today’s workforce, a manager striving to bring out the best in each individual, or someone hoping to make sure your work matters, big success starts by thinking small.

Natalie has always loved to speak and write, and topics she loved to talk and write about most were the lessons she learned from growing up in Republic, Ohio. She woke up in the middle of the night one night, and the name Small Town Leadership just came to her. She knew that this was the name of her leadership style, and with a name she could start spreading the idea.

There are a lot of things people can learn about leadership style from a small town life. One example is the idea of work ethic. When you grow up in a small town, you see people working hard every day. Even at a young age, you start contributing. This leads to the idea that no job is beneath you or outside of the scope of what you should be doing.

Another small town lesson that’s incredibly important is how to move with agility and pivot. In a small town, you use what you have on hand, and if you don’t have what’s needed, you improvise. When you grow up in a small town you don’t have any other choice, but when things are going right for so long we get spoiled and forget how to improvise when the time comes. Don’t ever lose sight of the ability to think outside of the box.

Lastly, at least for now, is the concept of the small town motto. 6-10 words displayed proudly in the middle of town for everyone to see. Those words give everyone in town something to connect with and believe in. How can you take that concept and apply it to your team, your business, or yourself?

Active listening, saying yes, trust, and empathy are key components of improv leadership—and they all apply to small town leadership as well. How can you change your mindset to embrace the opportunities presented to you, no matter how big or small?

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