How to be a Great Leader

We recently had a session at UEA London about leadership.  The speaker made the important point that leading is helping people achieve a shared vision, not telling people what to do!  A leader must demonstrate a vision and values worth following.

What makes a good leader?

  • Strong vision, clearly communicated
  • Big ears and a small mouth
  • Listen first and advise afterwards
  • Get to know the people and personalities that you are going to lead.
  • Listen to others and be ready to learn from the different kinds of experiences
  • Get input from the people you are leading
  • Delegate responsibility and push for progress
  • Empower people around you
  • Have confidence in yourself and the decisions you make

Do you have leadership skills?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have you successfully led a team to achieve a goal?
  2. Have you inspired someone to make a change or take action?
  3. Have you dealt with conflict and witnessed a positive outcome?
  4. Have you experienced failure and bounced back?
  5. Have you overseen or initiated a major change?

As leadership skills are one of the main attributes that many employers look for, here are a few suggestions as to how you can build on them:

  • Join a University club or society and try to move into the management when an opportunity comes up.
  • Start your own society!
  • Do some volunteering and see if you can move into a more responsible postion – e.g. Scout leader
  • Take the lead in group work projects as part of your course work at University
  • Become a class representative

Don’t forget, LinkedIn has some great resources and articles for developing your leadership skills.

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