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:
- Have you successfully led a team to achieve a goal?
- Have you inspired someone to make a change or take action?
- Have you dealt with conflict and witnessed a positive outcome?
- Have you experienced failure and bounced back?
- 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.