How do you define leadership? Is a title? Is it a character trait? There are many books, many experts, and great examples. I define it as the ability to lead yourself so well that other’s naturally follow. For the last four years, I have grown leaders for two Chick-fil-A stores in Macon, Georgia-Bass Road and Tom Hill Senior Boulevard. I have read countless books
and fostered many discussions that emphasize key #leadership attributes. Through this experience, I have created my own synopsis. In short, to lead yourself well you must be willing to grow, to serve others, pursue excellence, have a positive attitude, and be a team player.
#GROW- As a #college #student, you are learning all the time; learning new material, learning about others, learning from new experiences, learning to overcome challenges. All of this “learning” has provided great interpersonal growth. These learning opportunities do not end when you graduate. Rather, they provide a foundation of wisdom to help you navigate new challenges and experiences. I encourage you to continue to quest for knowledge, participate in new activities, set new challenges for yourself, meet new people, travel to new locations, anything that fosters new opportunities to learn and grow.
#SERVE OTHERS- Isn’t it a good feeling when you help someone? Having a heart to assess others' needs and find ways to help is the mark of a leader who people naturally gravitate towards. For example, you are at work and in your job waiting. You notice your teammate is getting behind in her responsibilities, which is causing a delay for everyone else. Do you step in and help her catch up or do you remain waiting? I hope you chose to step in and help. That is an example of being a servant leader.
#EXCELLENCE- How do you define excellence? I think it is doing the best you can in all circumstances. It’s creating YOUR “oasis of excellence”-a standard that you strive to achieve in your work and school. Let’s say you have three exams in a two-day period, and you are scheduled to work one of those days. Of course, your goal is to do well on your exams. However, managing your time well will play a key role. In your pursuit of excellence, you may find someone to cover your shift to provide more study time or you may begin studying ahead of time. Either way, you are taking measures that will help you perform well on your exams. While I could go on about this topic, I want to keep it short. However, one last point is a reminder that it is ok to ask for help as we strive to reach our goals.
#ATTITUDE: Our attitude makes a difference and our attitude can ebb and flow. It’s about looking at the positive side of a situation, finding a solution to a challenge, encouraging others, and remaining steadfast and strong when challenges come your way. It’s contagious. Model it for others. Absorb it when others model it to you.
#TEAMPLAYER-Be a team player. Whether you are working in a school group project or at work, be a team player. Define your role, understand your role, perform your role with excellence. This understanding can mean getting your part done on time, showing up to work on time, and perhaps supporting your classmates or colleagues with extra help when they need it. This let’s your classmates or colleagues know they can count on you in all situations because your actions have proven it.
How does leadership relate to #careerreadiness? Employers seek talent who behave and talk with integrity, have a desire to serve others and the organization, demonstrate accountability, aspire to grow personally and professionally, and are team players. Just to name a few.
In closing, leadership to me is not a title. It is a #charactertrait that we can all learn. A book that really drove this point home was Clay Scroggins “How To Lead When You’re Not In Charge-Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority”. I highly recommend this book as another resource to help you transform and grow your leadership traits. Lead yourself well and others will follow.