Leading with Confidence by Kelsey Ashton, Jefferson County Public Library

October 17, 2018
Leadership and management are closely interconnected. You can, however, be a leader at your organization without being a manager. Similarly, just because you manage people or resources doesn’t necessarily make you an effective leader.

Why should we care about developing a culture of leadership?

To be a leader is to influence and motivate people towards a common vision or goal. Leaders can coordinate efforts and garner support from people at all levels. Think of the capable leaders on your team as a built-in safety net that gives your

 company added strength in the face of changes and challenges.

They also push your efforts forward through their ability to encourage growth and innovation.

Long tenure and a high-level title do not automatically make someone a leader. Staff at all levels can lead, which is important for management to keep in mind. Developing a culture of leadership can give your organization added nimbleness and increased productivity. Improving your own leadership skills and fostering leadership at all levels within your team will be a positive hit to your bottom line!

Cultivate leadership with these 3 practices

1. Get to know your team(mates)

Connecting with your team develops a sense of trust and understanding. Be genuine in your interest in getting to know those you work with. Developing this personal connection will let your staff know that you care which can lead to an increased sense of accountability. It also builds a positive work culture, which leads to happy, productive workers.

2. Strive for perfection while poised to accept failure

Things and people aren’t perfect. Mistakes and obstacles happen. Admitting failure and dealing with adversity allows us to learn and grow as individuals and as a team. Acknowledging missteps demonstrates accountability and builds trust. Remember to keep a positive spin on dealing with failure and criticism by focusing on how things can improve, should there be a next time. As Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

3. Lead by example

Last but not least, behaving in ways that tie to your organization’s vision, mission, and values, inspires others to do the same. Your dedication draws people in, giving you authority and leverage to motivate others towards shared goals. It also inspires responsibility and persuades others to behave similarly.

Learn more about leadership from industry professionals by checking out The Best Team Wins: The new science of high performance by Adrian Robert Gostick or Connecting the Dots: Lessons for leadership in a startup world by John Chambers.

You can also take advantage of Lynda.com’s on-line, self-paced trainings on leadership and management, which are free through the library’s homepage. Need a library card? Email me and I’ll set you up!

I know our time is limited and our attention is spread thin. Taking a little time now to invest in yourself as a business professional will pay off in the long run!


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