Everyone is a Leader; What Kind of Leader Do You Want to Be?
It sounds like a simple enough question, but most people answer by saying what they think others want to hear or what they think will sound good. As a Leadership Coach, part of my work is to help my clients answer questions. Three of the most important questions my clients must learn to answer are
What kind of a leader do you want to be?
What kind of a leader are you?
What kind of a leader do you want to work for?
Many people believe the word “leader” only applies to people who are in management or leading a team of people. But in reality, we are all leaders in some way, not only when we have a title that declares our level of responsibility or supervision. Webster’s defines a leader as “a person or thing that leads; directing, commanding, or guiding head, as of a group or activity.”
Whenever we decide what to think, say or do that influences others, we are leaders. In this sense we are leaders in everything we do. We are leaders in our household, within a group of friends, as members of clubs, as well as in the workforce. Leadership is how we motivate and treat others, as well as how we contribute to those things we enjoy, and push ourselves to be the best we can be.
There are a lot of theories and opinions as to what makes a good or bad leader. But I find the most important attribute in being a leader is to be honest with yourself about who you really are and what will make you the most successful, both professionally and personally. This includes knowing who others truly are and aligning yourself with people who share your values. This requires clarity about how you think, communicate, solve problems, and create opportunities.
Focus on Strengths to build a Great Team
Many people seek my help when they feel unhappy in their career. Often, they start by telling me they don’t like the work they’re doing. While that may be true, there are usually additional reasons for their unhappiness. They don’t feel connected to their company or the people they work with, they don’t like the leadership they report to, or the responsibilities of the job have changed. It’s easy to point to all of those things as the root of the problem, but inevitably, my clients discover that at the core, they are not living up to the person THEY want to be. They are not the leaders they want to be.
The first steps toward a fulfilling career are all related to leadership.
- Identify what kind of leader—person—you want to be.
- Be honest about what kind of leader you are right now and commit to being the leader you WANT to be.
- Identify what kind of leaders you want to work for and learn from; ensuring your values and ethics are in alignment.
More than anything, don’t settle for working for people who don’t practice the leadership style that aligns with your values and what you expect them to be.
Julia is a Career Strategist and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach based in the Bay Area. She helps career-focused professionals showcase their unique abilities and talents in order to amplify their presence in their chosen fields and when re-entering the job market. Julia uses her extensive leadership experience in executive management, business development, team building and recruiting to help her clients have the career they always wanted. Learn more about Julia at www.JuliaHolian.com, www.LinkedIn.com/in/JuliaHolian, https://Twitter.com/JuliaHolian (@JuliaHolian) and www.Facebook.com/JuliaHolian.