A leader, in the dictionary definition, is someone who holds a dominant position in a group, organization, or location. However, this is an oversimplification as this statement implies that you must exclusively hold a position of power to be a leader. A true leader motivates and guides their followers towards a clear goal.
Leadership cannot be quickly defined in one category. Leadership comes in multitudinous forms. There are different styles and approaches to tackling this big role. You may
For example, one may lead by putting trust into a team and allows the members to make decisions. The person in charge will monitor and give feedback. However, the team may begin to slack off and not take the leader seriously.
Further, one may choose to lead by taking the opposite approach. The leader will overtake all the big decisions and not allow the group to have a say. The leader’s decision is final. This leadership is best applied during circumstances where there is little time for decision-making and the leader is the most knowledgeable. However, this approach may breed resentment among the members and cause the team to fall apart.
A person may choose to combine these two approaches. This leader will listen to the group opinion but make the final decision. A downside to this style is that it is time-consuming and may not be the best strategy to use when
Another example is pace-setting. This is when a person sets the bar high and expects the team to perform up to par with the expectations. This leadership style is well suited for professionals.
Additionally, someone may use the team as a model for everything. The leader highlights the group effort and simply serves them.
Transformational leadership is characterized by a self-aware, authentic, empathetic, and humble person. This style is utilized a person who gets excited by their vision and shares it with their team, successfully motivating everyone. This leader has charisma.
Sydney Pike, a junior, says “To be a good leader you would have to have an open mind and you have to have a group mentality; you can’t be single minded. You can’t think individually, you have to think as a whole.”
Jenna Anderson, a junior, speaks her mind on what traits successful leaders possess: “Selflessness. Assertiveness. The ability to perform under stressful situations and general likeability. You have to have intelligence and be respectful so that respect is reciprocated.”
Above all, leadership is about being able to guide others with compassion and respect. There are many factors that go into being a good leader. Leadership is not an innate talent but a set of skills you can cultivate. You can develop these skills by learning how to manage your emotions, communicate, invest in people, hold yourself and people accountable, and more.