Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Art of Leadership

This article includes content from Business News DailyLevo League and

What is leadership?

The word "leadership" may bring to mind images of power and authority, but that's not always the case. Think about a leader in your life-perhaps a friend, co-worker, or family member. Are they in a position of authority? Not necessarily.

How do we define leadership?

Business News Daily asked 30 business owners and experts to define what leadership means to them. Their ideas may just lead you to create your own definition of leadership. Take a look at what they said.

"Leadership is having a vision, sharing that vision and inspiring others to support your vision while creating their own."
"Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished."
"A true leader is secure in creating a framework that encourages others to tap into their own skills and ideas and freely contribute to the whole of the project or company."
"Leadership is actions committed by a person or group that produce an output or result. It simply helps people to get things done. It is not based on position in a hierarchy."
"Leadership is employing your skills and knowledge, leveraged by your attitude to get the results you desire."

Leadership is like art. There is more than one way to define leadership, just as there is more than one way to be a leader. Tiffany Dufu of Levo says that a leader is someone who uses their leadership, who "inspires people to live their best selves and their best lives," and that "artful leadership is knowing others and knowing yourself."

How do we become better leaders?

We want to see our Aggies across the globe leading the pack in establishing the qualities necessary for a happy, successful life. Whether you are in a technical position of leadership or not, you can be a leader everyday. There are many ways to improve your leadership-all of which can be started right now.

Learn More About Your Leadership Style. Understanding your current leadership style is essential. What are your strengths? Which areas need some improvement? Once you've determine which areas need some work, you can begin looking for ways to improve your leadership abilities.

Serve As a Role Model. Inspiring leaders exemplify the behaviors and characteristics that they encourage in their followers. They walk the walk and talk the talk. As a result, group members admire these leaders and work to emulate these behaviors.

Have a Positive Attitude. Leaders who facilitate change have an upbeat, optimistic attitude that serves as a source of inspiration for followers. Even when things look bleak and your followers start to feel disheartened, try to stay positive. This does not mean viewing things through rose-colored glasses. It simply means maintaining a sense of optimism and hope in the face of challenges.

Listen and Communicate Effectively. Good leaders should express sincere care and concern for the members of their group both verbally and non-verbally. By keeping the lines of communication open, these leaders can ensure that group members feel able to make contributions and receive recognition for their achievements.

Encourage Creativity. One way to foster creativity is to offer challenges to group members, making sure that the goals are within the grasp of their abilities. The purpose of this type of exercise is to get people to grow and stretch their limits without being discouraged.

Keep Trying New Things. Who says leadership is a one-way relationship? As you work toward honing your leadership skills, don't forget to look to your followers for feedback and inspiration. Pay attention to the things that have been effective in the past and always be on the lookout for new ways to inspire, motivate, and reward group members.

Go get 'em, Aggies. We're rooting for you!

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