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90 in 90: Shanté Hastings, Delaware Department of Transportation

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I’ve had the privilege of learning from phenomenal leaders in the workplace and through volunteerism. Grace and faith are certainly two words that I’ve seen them demonstrate time and time again. They are woven through the ten words/phrases I’ve selected to share.

Beginning your day with an attitude of gratitude is a must. It is so important to make time to identify what you are grateful for because it truly transforms your outlook and experiences with others. Taking time to acknowledge our gratitude for others is equally important. Be specific and timely when you are recognizing them because they deserve to know that you have gratitude for them.

Respect yourself and respect others because everyone has value. They deserve to be treated with dignity regardless of where they are in an organization or in life. Respect breeds healthy relationships and positivity.

Leaders must have self-awareness. It leads to a greater understanding of ourselves and allows us to relate better to people. Part of that awareness is understanding that we can have a shared experience with others that makes us and them feel completely different. Always be aware of how your words and actions are perceived.

It’s important to show that we care. Our community needs it! Take the time to really get to know people and understand where they are. It has been said that we’ve either just gone through a storm, are going through a storm, or are about to go through a storm. Knowing that others care about us can make all the difference in the world.

Regardless of whether we admit it, we all need encouragement. We need to know that others believe in us. You should have people in your life who uplift you. And in turn, you should make a point to encourage others. Our words are powerful and it’s important to use them to build others up.

Fear Not
Fear not my friends! We were made to be courageous. While we can’t take fear away completely, we should acknowledge it and then overcome it. Ask yourself why you’re afraid of it, assess the risks and then act. We shouldn’t be afraid to take calculated risks and learn from the experiences that don’t go as planned.

Share your story and life experiences with others. It’s probably more important now than ever because of the fake perfection we see on social media and that we portray to others at times. There is strength in our vulnerability. Give others the space to be their authentic selves.

We all learned at a very young age that honesty is the best policy. That’s a truth (pun-intended) that hasn’t changed. Integrity is more than honesty though. It’s about upholding moral and ethical values no matter what you’re facing. If you want to gain the trust of others, always lead with integrity.

Take and Give Opportunities
Opportunities can change the trajectory of a person’s life or career. Make sure to take opportunities. You will learn and grow every time. And more importantly, when you are in a position to give opportunities, do it! Create chances for people to acquire new skills and knowledge.

Hear People
People want to be heard. You have to hear them by using active listening techniques and doing simple things like watching their body language. Good communication is key to taking any organization to the next level.

Shanté Hastings is the deputy secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation.

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