Post #76 Useful Leadership Tips
You’ve undoubtedly heard how “employers want leadership skills.” Does anybody articulate what that means or what you should do about it (see Post #46)? Certainly, not every student is meant to reside as President or VP of a student organization. Read on to learn how to apply practical leadership qualities no matter your stature.
Leaders Know How to Try and Fail
How many times have you tried something that miserably failed? As toddlers, we try to walk and fall. We get up, try again and fall back down. This pattern is repeated over and over by toddlers. Yet as adults, we may try something one, two or 3 times and label it a failure. Not only do we give up, we tend to beat ourselves up for not “getting it.” As adults, we somehow blame ourselves for not mastering a task after a few attempts. Leaders don’t blame, they don’t dwell, nor do they have self-pity. Among other important leadership qualities: leaders try and fail as many times as it takes to get the job accomplished.
Leaders Don’t Take Defeats Personally
When you learned to walk as a young toddler, did you blame yourself for falling? What do you think would have happened if you did blame yourself? I want you to use that analogy the next time you try something that didn’t work. Focus on what you did correctly, assess what can be improved and learn from your mistakes (see Post #67). I caution you to be aware of self-judgment and self-blame. If possible, do not take your defeats personally. Take them on as challenges that you can work towards. Another leadership quality: avoid getting down on yourself and try a different route.
Leaders Don’t Know the “How”
Do you know how to ride a bike or how to make pasta? These are activities that most people can accomplish with a set of published instructions. Suppose you were asked to accomplish something without a set of published instructions. For example, a future boss may ask you to solve a problem. The boss may demand, “tell me why defective parts are getting shipped to us from the suppliers?” This is an example of a problem that has no instruction set. You will have to start investigation, asking intelligent questions and performing outside of your comfort zone. In other words, you will have to be a leader without knowing exactly “HOW” to solve this problem. Leadership qualities involve pushing yourself through the unknown.