One’s leadership style is a trait often mentioned in the world of jobs. This might scare some people off, Since only a few people are born leaders, and most of us shy away from leadership roles. The good news for the latter is that leadership can be taught and doesn’t have to be inherent. Further, almost all of us have the capacity to be some kind of leader.
Leadership is an important aspect of career assessment. The reason for this is because there are many careers that will require you to take control of the situation. You may be given the task of supervising others, and you make work in an environment where no one is constantly looking over your shoulder. In careers like this, you must have leadership skills, and you must be able to carry out tasks without someone having to micromanage you. In reality, there are two types of people in this world, and there are those who are leaders, and there are those who are followers.
While being a follower sometimes has negative connotations, the fact of the matter is that we are all not meant to be leaders. When you assess your career, it is very important for you to decide whether or not you want to be put in a leadership position. Some people enjoy being led. They don’t want to deal with all the responsibility that comes with being a leader. If this describes you, then you will want to look for a career where you are closely guided by someone else. However, if you are a natural leader, and you would rather lead than be led, you will want to look for careers which allow you to take on leadership roles. Some of the best careers for leaders are related to management.
Talent versus Skill
To grasp the difference between natural leadership and that which is taught, one must distinguish the difference between talent and skill. Talents are intrinsic and can be discovered and developed. They can’t be taught. Skills, on the other hand, can be taught. They are the ability to do something after learning how and are learned and transferable. In almost every case, a talented leader excels more than a skilled one; talented leaders can achieve excellence, whereas skilled leaders probably can’t surpass mere adequacy.
This is why, to become an effective leader, you must discover your natural leadership abilities and build on them. In other words, become the type of leader you are designed to be. Get involved in assignments and training that develop your leadership talents. Fortunately, there are all types of leadership talents to where you most likely contain at least one or two. They include the abilities to motivate, organize, protect, strategize, and envision.
As far as learning leadership skills, a popular method is for a college student to take a single course that teaches leadership. Since becoming an effective leader does not happen "overnight", the college classroom setting should only be a small part of one’s journey to becoming a leader. We can easily gain leadership experience in environments such as our home, the athletic field, or the community. There are also countless books available that give an author’s view on good ways to become a leader.
Taking Leadership Initiative and Acting
Once you feel at least somewhat comfortable as a leader, look for opportunities to practice. Even if you’re not in a manager-type role, a situation may arise at the workplace that requires leadership, and you might just well be the best candidate. If this occurs, your first step should be to identify coworkers and resources willing to support your leadership. For instance, having the boss approval and the finances to accomplish your goal might be the keys to going forward.
Next, you need to empathize with your coworkers and evaluate their different positions in the situation; this will help allow you to influence them. Several ways to achieve this are through phone calls, memos, and informal discussions. Next, organize a meeting where all coworkers involved will attend; this way, nobody will feel left out, and you can make it clear what the benefits are for everyone. From here, you can set team goals without giving too much or too little supervision. Then, when the goals are finally achieved, make sure to reward the team!