I first started thinking that leadership is “the ability to make a decision or perform an action on behalf of a group to benefit the group as a whole.” During the first workshop for the NRFLLE we discussed the many aspects of leadership and being able to recognize what makes a leader and how one can further enhance their skills if they are within a leadership role.
The first thing we touched on is who do we consider leaders? Can you think of the last 5 people who won the Oscar, picked in the NBA draft, richest people alive? Little tricky, may be able to answer a couple but not really. Now think of the people who made a positive difference in your life. You could easily name five right? The point is that, just because someone may be exceptional in their field of work doesn’t necessarily mean that these people are or should be considered leaders. It is the people who have a positive impact that you should aspire to consider as personal leaders.
“When we are inspired we can tap into our best selves and do amazing things.”
Our next activity was a subset of smaller activities that helped in the various areas that people may people may be good or bad at, or possibly unaware of it’s impact completely.
The first was self-awareness, where we shared personal characteristics that may hinder our ability to work as a leader. To be self-aware means you know how you feel and how your emotions and actions affect those around you. Ways to improve yourself aware ness could be to keep a journal or simply slow down.
Next was self-management, where we stand on a 1-10 line of how well we relate in regards to change. These are those who manage themselves effectively, and rarely verbally attack others, make rushed or emotional decisions, serotype people or compromise their values. Ways to improve the trait is to practice being calm, being able to hold your-self accountable and to look for the silver lining.
After that was Social Awareness. In this exercise we did some improve where we acted out various workplace scenarios. This is crucial to managing a successful team and committee and is focused on the leader having empathy which helps build the respect and loyalty of the team. You can enhance this trait by changing your perspective, tune into body language and be able to respond appropriately to feelings.
Finally our last activity was Relationship Management. This focused on what we saw was the difference between a coach and a mentor. Those with good RM are great communicators and set an example with their own work. One can improve this by learning conflict resolution skills, improve communication, and learn how to show appreciation.
”Being a leader is not about making yourself more powerful. It’s about making the people around you more powerful” – Heidi Wills
After this very intensive workshop being able to define what a leader is become significantly harder and everyone’s definition was different. What does leadership mean to you?