Last week I had the privilege of writing a guest post for Max Polec’s website. Max is a student leader at the University of Pittsburgh and one of the real shining stars among the next generation of leaders. I had never “guest posted” before so when Max asked me to write about the lessons I would share with new leaders, I was honored to do so. In case you missed it, these are the lessons I shared with Max’s readers.
Lessons in Life and Leadership
One thing I’ve learned from 30 years of leading various organizations is that leadership can never be perfected. As leaders, we are constantly working on our craft, learning and improving as we go. Because leadership involves people, every leadership situation is complex and unique. Although I continue to learn as I go, I wanted to share some of the lessons I have already learned.
Know thyself. Know your strengths, but know your weaknesses better. Be secure and comfortable with your weaknesses. Acknowledge your weaknesses so you surround yourselves with people who complement you.
Be kind. I’m sure you’ve probably heard that leaders are tough. I don’t necessarily agree. Leaders make tough decisions. Leaders are resilient. But leaders do not have to be mean. So be kind to all. You will develop willing and passionate followers through your kindness.
Be enthusiastic. Be the most passionate person in your organization. Team members like to follow enthusiastic leaders who bring energy to the organization.
Have integrity. Do the right thing all the time. Period.
Outwork everyone else. Work harder than others in your organization, and especially your competition.
Be positive. Leadership is much like life in that things are not always going to go your way. You will face obstacles and challenges. Set an example for your team by being positive and focusing on the opportunities that these challenges present.
What gets measured gets done. When you decide to measure something, it becomes a priority to your team. They will be committed to achieving results when they know what is being measured.
What gets celebrated gets repeated. When your team gets results and achieves desired outcomes, be sure to celebrate. Recognize positive behavior and it will be repeated. Don’t forget to stop and “smell the roses” by celebrating your team’s successes.
Open your heart and mind to new opportunities. Life won’t always go as planned. Your career path may not be what you are expecting today. Remain open to opportunities and pursue them with passion when they present themselves.
These lessons will provide a great foundation for your leadership journey. Practice them, work on them, and strive to be a leader who people follow willingly and passionately. And if you ever need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to me: firstname.lastname@example.org; @jvearle; www.jvearle.com.
I want to thank Max for allowing me to write a guest post on maxpolec.com. Max has graciously written a guest post for my site and I will be posting that in the coming weeks.
And as always, thank you for reading,