Emily Tevault, MBA
What does it mean to be a leader? What traits does a leader possess? Do you consider yourself a leader? Too often, leadership is defined based on a person’s position or hierarchy. There is a tendency to wait to lead until a person “has the title.” We need to redefine leadership. In all of the roles in your life (employee, parent, supervisor, sibling, employer, child, volunteer), you are a leader in each. Leaders do not need titles as leadership is about character, decisions, and actions.
Identify people you consider successful leaders. Think about family members, friends, mentors, teachers, managers, religious/spiritual figures, politicians, and experts in your industry. Reflect on the traits they possess that make them an effective leader. Is it their character, how they build relationships, expertise in their field of study, how they communicate, their passion? Identify the trait you think is the most valuable to a leader’s success and connect the trait you identified to yourself. Which traits are your strengths? What traits provide opportunities for your intentional growth? How can you apply leadership traits in your current position, at home, in school, where you volunteer?
I believe character matters and is a critical trait of successful leaders. Strong character builds trust. If people do not trust you, they will not follow you. Establishing trust cannot be demanded. It is earned over time through your actions. In all areas of my life, I focus on following through on my commitments. Whether it is in my role as a mom, coach, friend, Chief Producktivity® Officer, choir member, or teacher, I am accountable to myself and others by doing what I say I will do.
Redefining leadership by traits rather than a title allows you to commit to life-long leadership development. You are a leader right now. Add value to your community, family and friends, and workplace, and commit to becoming a more effective leader today. What is one specific action you will take to enhance your growth as a leader? Share your thoughts and experiences, join the conversation below.
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