Leadership roles aren’t about positions in an organization’s hierarchy. From mentality to practice and execution, leadership can be found in entry and c-level roles. It’s often preached to high-potential employees, but this dedicated mindset and professional growth can be cultivated by anyone in the workforce looking to solidify and even forge new paths in their career.
Starting from the bottom is relative when considering the mentality it takes to lead a team through each day and each challenge toward success. Which is why it’s important to set your sight on progress. Let your heart be inspired, but build a mindset that guides your intent to be an effective leader.
Sure, leadership quotes are a dime a dozen and many have been so overused they’ve started sounding like adults from Charlie Brown classics. These, however, are followed by a focused mentality and mindset that transforms leaders of power, into leaders of influence.
“What you do has far greater impact than what you say” – Stephen Covey
Leadership has somehow been strongly associated with conquering all challenges and never faltering from the pressure of failure, regardless of whether your emotional, physical, or mental health is at risk. However, constantly “proving” your strength and capacity to succeed shouldn’t be the goal of great leaders. Sometimes being accountable and transparent about your limitations, is all that’s needed to encourage and inspire others to lead with authenticity.
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates
Recognizing leaders for their contributions to a cause, goal, or movement comes with the title, but great leaders don’t need to be bathed in the spotlight. More than a laundry list of milestones and accomplishments, nothing can compare to the legacy left behind in people they’ve led.
In a world where everyone wants to take credit for something, it’s both humbling and rewarding when truly inspiring leaders put others before themselves.
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality” – Warren Bennis
Not everyone is “born” to lead, and even those who were, still find avenues to further nurture their potential and develop their leadership and management skills. One of the best ways to learn is to do (no, it’s not like your least favorite uncle throwing you in the deep end of a pool shouting at you to “sink or swim”). Leaders who reflect and take up the mantel for themselves to grow and adapt demonstrate self-worth and dedication that motivates others to do the same.
Leadership skills need constant honing. And though investing in a degree and certifications may not seem ideal financially or time-wise, there are plenty of resources leaders can take advantage of to make an impact on their growth and skill development.
edX, a well-known e-learning platform, hosts an abundance of free online courses with additional paid options to earn accredited certifications. Choose from a variety of topics and programs, learn at your own pace, and then use that gained knowledge to further improve your leadership goals and practices.
Don’t know where to start? Here are a few choice selections:
A good read can go a long way. These books on bringing out the leader in you are perfect downtime page-turners.
If old-fashioned reading has become a luxury you no longer have the time for, then these podcasts are the next best thing for providing a dose of motivation and focus for professionals with leadership goals.
The buck doesn’t stop at a title or position. Leadership is comparable, measurable, and teachable. Use these ideas and resources to develop your leadership skills further.
Contributed by Mary Dominguez
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