Janette Braverman is a person with a lot on her plate. She is the first African American to serve on the Ozaukee County Board of Supervisors and has a two-decade career in the IT and manufacturing industries. As if that weren't enough, Braverman also owns her own consulting business and is deeply invested in church life.
And it is lessons drawn from leadership across all of these worlds that inform her new book, 10 Reasons Communication Brings Transformation: Unleash Your Greatness. The book is an invitation for people in leadership positions to re-examine how they manage their work. It also encourages better dialogue among colleagues and suggests ways to deal with what she calls, "toxic leadership."
"If you don't address the issue, transformation will never occur, right?" says Braverman. "And so that's all I'm saying. Let's be bold, let's be honest, let's be transparent, because it's bigger than us. We have to be more concerned with the people that are around us. When you're leading you really need to be concerned with those that are following you."
One way Braverman says we can be better communicators is simply by being prepared: "Something that I try to do is understand my audience. So, before I go into an event I want to know, 'Do I have anyone in the audience who might be hearing impaired, or anyone where English is not their first language?'
"There are so many things that we need to consider before we get out there and start speaking because we want people to hear us!" Braverman explains. "So we need to really prepare ourselves to make sure that we're effectively communicating to all."
The book draws a lot of parallels between the world of business and the world of church. The constant anchor Braverman tends to use is the idea of toxic leadership. She thinks the church may operate better if it were run more like a business:
"I think that they have to fuse and balance the spiritual aspects of what goes on in church along with the business aspects because you know what? You are in a facility, you have to pay bills, and so you need processes in place to ensure it's run effectively. There are expenses that go along with operating a church just like there are expenses that go along with operating a business," explains Braverman.
Braverman sees a trend in toxic leadership around the world but believes this book is a chance for both seasoned and aspiring leaders to "unleash their greatness" and become better leaders.
Janette Braverman will be speaking at Boswell Books Friday 7/28.