Recognizing Effective Leadership Skills

Whether a student, employee, manager, director or CEO of a Fortune 500 company, we all feel the need to lead, but what exactly is leadership? Furthermore, what is effective leadership?

Leadership, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, is “the office, position or function of a leader or the quality of character and personality giving a person the ability to gain the confidence of and lead others…” By this definition, anyone can be placed in a leadership role; however, a true leader possesses the ability to learn how to lead others. 

It is important to remember a leader is only as good as his team. I often use the analogy of sports to solidify a successful leader. Phil Jackson was the head coach of the Chicago Bulls for nine years, which earned him six NBA titles. Jackson was often criticized for his style of play; however, later he was deemed one of the greatest coaches in the game of basketball. He was able to bring a group of basketball players together to accomplish one goal. 

The ability to lead others, in my opinion, is not something that can be learned. Possessing effective leadership traits is a gift that allows those fortunate to guide others to succeed. In today’s society, everyone wants to be a leader and that’s great; however, becoming an effective leader is most important. Effective leadership character traits are communication, great listening skills and the ability to guide a team to see the big picture of a project outcome. 

Whether you’re a freshman in college, an entry-level employee or a CEO, being able to effectively lead a team of others is crucial to the success of not only yourself, but to the success of those around you. It is 2012, and today companies are looking for those that can lead by example. You must ask yourself, am I in a leadership role or am I an effective leader?

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Kisha Taylor is a Certified Learning Center Professional, Level I. She currently works as the Learning Center Coordinator for the Romeoville/Joliet Campus. She has worked in the field of education for over seven years. Kisha has a B.S. in Criminal Justice from American InterContinental University, M.Ed., with a specialization in Leadership of Educational Organizations from American InterContinental University. She is currently working on an M.S. in Criminal Justice at Kaplan University. Kisha is also the academic champion for the Chicago Public Schools in collaboration with the Academy for Urban School Leadership and Rasmussen College.

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