Question: What’s your favorite Library Leadership Book and why?
Jami Munk Carter: It’s not necessarily written for leaders. It’s a very introspective book. The book Mindset by Carol Dweck has been extremely influential for me. The concept that we are both growth-minded and fixed-minded in different areas of our lives, applying that to myself, applying that understanding to staff that I work with to assist them to grow in ways that are meaningful to them. In addition to our community as well, understanding how to approach somebody.
It is uncomfortable. Often I speak quite a bit about self-directed achievement and learning cultures and in the process of learning in general. One of the things that comes up is we want a safe and comfortable environment to learn. That’s what’s very very important to us and if we had that we would absolutely do it. That’s what people tell me, and I contradict part of that. As a leader, it’s important for us to make it a safe place to learn. That learning and failure are part of our processes.
Your colleagues also have something to do with that safety. So, it has to start with leadership or leadership needs to adopt it. If you’re lucky enough to have a staff that is okay with that safety. I propose that it will never feel comfortable to learn. It is not a place to know that you don’t know something to feel less than, to feel a lack of something is not a comfortable place to be. What I propose to people and what I try to live myself is that I get to use that trigger in my mind when I’m feeling vulnerable, or when I’m feeling imposter syndrome is creeping in.
I have to recognize that, as an emotion that I can turn to—become excitement. Because, here’s the next thing I get to be good at. Here’s the next thing I get to learn. Here’s the next thing I get to fumble through and become a better person for it. That takes some intentionality. It takes some practice, but the idea that being comfortable, I don’t feel is a reality, that we can really expect as a person. I worry 1 that it becomes an excuse because we feel safe, but not comfortable. So, we don’t do it.
Listen to Jami’s full episode here: https://libraryleadershippodcast.com/jami-munk-carter-director-of-the-tooele-city-library-utah/