When you think about the word "leadership" what comes to mind? For a long time, I thought leadership was defined by a title or position. I associated a leader with an abundance of responsibility, under a lot of stress, exceeding results, and someone who held the leadership title/position. Instantly, I felt I was not qualified to be a leader and fell victim to assumption. I assumed because I didn't have a leadership title nor did I have the responsibility of a leader that I was not a leader. The idea of being a leader was overwhelming until I took the time to understand what leadership truly means. After educating myself on leadership and researching multiple formats, I found that no matter what leadership book I read or leadership speaker I listened to, there was a commonality between them all. They all have similar "core values" of a leader. A leader isn't a title or position, it's a way of living! I have taken my research and defined these "core values" into four characteristics. The following "core values" are the characteristics of an effective leader:
Trust-trust is the essence of every single relationship there is. Without trust, it’s impossible to be an effective leader.
Humility-a leader is someone who puts others first. They put aside their own wants/needs and help others achieve the greatest version of themselves. When this happens, everyone wins!
Authenticity-First, you have to know who you are before you can lead others. Great leaders know who they are and are genuine at what they do!
Perseverance-leaders persevere through the good and the bad. They understand that failing is part of succeeding! They keep moving forward and learn from their mistakes.
The power of belief is significant in order to be a leader. You must truly believe in yourself and from there you are able to invest in your leadership skills. This is why it is so important to develop an understanding of who you are. Everyone has their own idea as to what makes a leader great but you can’t deny the specific "core values" needed in order to be an effective leader. I have found empowerment and fulfillment from educating and challenging myself to understand what an effective leader is and what it can do for your life rather than shying away from it. I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and grew tremendously from doing so! The concept that once terrified me has become one of my biggest assets in my professional and personal settings. Everyone has the capability to be a leader. A leader is the furthest thing from a title or position, it’s a way of living! Whether you’re a mother, sister, friend, or a colleague, you have the tools to inspire others to become a better version of themselves, and that's leadership in all its beauty!
Edited by Brooke Erickson