Being the leader you've always dreamt of being
What kind of leader or person have you always wished you would be? When I was President of the Latin American Student Association at The University of Buffalo during my junior year at uni, I distrinctly remember wanting to be a leader that instilled in others a respect for their teammates, a recognition of personal boundaries and a committment to promises and transparency. I looked at my e-board as a family and that it was my duty to help them grow as much as possible so that they could fulfill their roles in the club and in life as best as possible.
I didnt realize then how committed I was to these beliefs until I grew older and saw that they dictated my career choices as well as the people I admired. Ultimately, it has led me to working with some very prominent leaders who have similar values.
So today, almost 4 years later, I reflect on the type of leader that I want to be... This is what I want to instill in those that choose to follow:
1- Lead by example: Nothing speaks so loudly as what you do. I never ask anyone to do something that I myself would not do.
2- Honest: No place for lies and this can be tough. Honesty doesn't mean being cruel or uncaring; it means being open and confident.
3- Transparent: Who are you and what do you represent? There is no place for smoke and mirrors. Passion, yes; bullshit, a resounding no.
4- Commitment to excellence: If you're not sweating everyday of your life, then you're not pushing yourself hard enough. People think sweating isn't enjoyable, but that is a major misconception. See more about it here.
5- Keep your promises: Breaking easy ones means you're more likely to break big ones, and those hurt more.
6- Be open to failing: As a leader, it's easy to want to be seen as perfect and it's a tiring image to try to maintain. It's far easier, in my opinion, to disclose (hello transparency) from the beginning that you will fail and make mistakes from time to time. And that you're happy about it, because that's part of success and you expect the same of others.
7- Know when to quit- How far should you dig for gold before you call it quits? This is something deeply spiritual that is learned over time and by listening to your body and gut. And it isn't dictated by fear of failure.
8- Take care of yourself- You are the your best asset and over-working and ignoring your health is not acceptable. Learn how to put yourself first while still being an effective part of the team.
There are others, but this suffices for now...