Spotlight on: Portia Lockett, “The Encourager” Who Uses All Her God-Given Gifts

Every morning when she sends her team an email, it starts with, “Good morning, Team Excellence!”

portia lockett In those few, but critical words, Portia Lockett, motivational speaker, songwriter, ordained minister and trainer not only reminds her team members that they are excellent—it reminds them that she expects nothing but excellence. Likewise, she too strives for excellence daily.

If any of her team members becomes weak links, it’s not because they didn’t have the training, motivation and encouragement to perform at maximum potential. It’s because they’re not handling their business.

“I’ll never fire another person because I don’t fire people,” she said. “They fire themselves.”

Lockett understands firsthand that leaders have to encourage. They have to help build confidence. They have to help people. It can’t be all about the leader. It’s about the team. And serving as Interim Director of Volunteer Services and Guest Relations, as well as a chaplain for the Detroit Medical Center Central Campus, Lockett has to manage a diverse team.

“I never forget why I’m there. I’m there to motivate. I’m there to encourage,” she said. “I’m there to make sure our patients have the best possible patient experience—even if it means going above and beyond and going the extra mile.”

As an effective leader, she’s on a mission daily to touch someone’s life—whether it be spiritually, mentally, emotionally or physically. Once a teacher in the classroom, she’s now committed to teaching team members and patients about leadership and life skills in general. But even in all her teaching, she remains open to learning.

“Every day should be a teachable moment,” she said. “We should all try to learn something new every single day. It could be a new word. It could be learning from a new experience. It could even be learning from other great leaders.”

As a master trainer and facilitator, Lockett is certified as a True Colors trainer, which is a personality assessment that helps individuals define who they are according to four colors:

  1. Blue–This person works to make sure everybody is in a good space. They do everything they can to help others be successful. It’s not ever about them individually. They are good listeners. They’re good helpers. They’re very dependable. They’re very trustworthy individuals. And they’re very, very organized.
  2. Orange—This person encourages a playful, fun atmosphere. You can depend on them to get it done. They may not do it the traditional way, but once you give them an assignment, they’re going to make it happen. They’re still a team player. They’re going to show up and shine.
  3. Green—This person takes a backseat to analyze the whole situation. They don’t make any rash decisions. They take a look at the whole scope. They don’t want to be involved in anything that’s not organized. Decisions have to be logical and within reason.
  4. Gold—This person is very efficient, thorough, firm and decisive. They always have a point of view—which can be frustrating for team members. Others may see them as controlling, too opinionated or uptight.

Lockett’s debut book is scheduled to release soon. For updates and more information, visit www.portialockett.com.  To hear the podcast of me and Portia Lockett entitled, “How to Use All Your God-Given Gifts for Leadership,” go here. 

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