Key Takeaways from Marc Marchant's 2021 Leadership Discovery Session

Written by Nick Clements, Project Manager with JE Dunn Construction Company, and 2021 Spring Leadership Discovery participant

Marc Marchant started his career at Clemson University earning a Master of Architecture with a Concentration in Healthcare Design. Marc joined LS3P in 1999 and has held the title of Studio Leader, Office Leader, and was promoted to CEO in early 2020. Marc not only sits on LS3P’s Board of Directors but also the Board Chair of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Commissioner for the Charleston County Historic Preservation Commission, Trustee with the Clemson Architectural Foundation, and a Program Investment Review Council Member for the Trident United Way. Marc was also recognized by Furman University’s Riley Institute as a Riley Fellow in 2018 and received an AIA SC Presidential Citation in 2013.

Key Takeaways from Marc’s Discussion:

  • Shepherd Leadership or Leading from The Middle: Marc started the session by discussing his personal style of leadership which he calls Shepherd Leadership. Marc defined Shephard Leadership, or leading from the middle, as being more focused on the relationships with co-workers and facilitating opportunities for people to grow in their own leadership journey. Shepherd leadership is also focused on putting the right person in the right position, performing the right tasks. A shepherd leader will also use their shepherd’s crook to nudge or pull someone when their actions need to be corrected from time to time. They use the unity and collaboration of the team to help facilitate growth and direction.
  • Patience and Perseverance: Marc talked about the importance of having patience and perseverance throughout your leadership journey. Marc cautioned us to not be like Veruca Salt when she sang the famous line “I don’t care how, I want it now” in her song from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Veruca clearly did not have the patience to get what she wanted and look how it turned out for her! Having patience in your leadership journey can be very difficult especially when watching your co-worker get that much coveted promotion or opportunity you were eyeing. Being patient and having faith your hard work will ultimately lead you to the position you are best suited for. Having the perseverance to keep pushing forward and showing your commitment may end up leading to an even better opportunity.
  • Values-Driven Decision Making (Do the Right Thing): Marc spoke about making decisions based on your personal values. Making business decisions this way will make those crucial decisions a little easier. Doing the right thing isn’t always the easiest decision and you may tarnish a couple relationships along the way, but you will have a greater sense of internal peace knowing you did the right thing at the end of the day. Working for a company that aligns with your personal values will support those crucial decisions even if they aren’t always the best business decision.
  • Delegate to Develop People: Being able to delegate tasks to your direct reports will not only allow yourself to lead more efficiently but will also help your direct reports to develop and progress in their leadership journey. Letting go of critical tasks is imperative when moving from a doing role to a leading role and creates growth possibilities for you and those around you. Being able to delegate effectively means being able to trust the work is getting done but also verifying it is getting done adequately. Delegating will help you be more essential and less involved.
  • Seek Balance: Finding the right work life balance is easier said than done and usually looks completely different than your co-worker’s balance. Finding balance in your career and personal life does not mean being able to leave the office at 4 PM or never having to work weekends. Balance is working the late nights and weekends when necessary but also taking the time for things outside of work when work is slower. Balance is also making the time for your children’s sports games or dance recitals and having confidence your team around you understands and will help with the workload.
  • Be Happy, Find Joy: Last but not least, Marc spoke about finding happiness and joy in your professional leadership journey. Being happy with your company and role are key factors to being happy in your professional career and life outside of work. Working for a company whose values align with your own personal values is a leading factor to finding joy at work and personal life. Finding happiness and joy will make you a more effective leader and with a greater impact to those around you.

For me personally, Marc’s session was very valuable and had many key points to take forward in my leadership journey and personal life. My biggest takeaway will be changing my mindset around delegating tasks. Moving forward, I want to ensure the majority of tasks I delegate are opportunities for those people to learn and grow in their career. I also want to ask myself the question is this the right person to delegate this task to? Changing my mindset around delegating tasks will not only help myself be more mindful and strategic when delegating, but also provide the people I am delegating to more value in their leadership journey.

On behalf of the 2021 Spring Leadership Discovery class, I would like to thank Marc for sharing his experiences and journey throughout his career.

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