Every professional needs to master a flawless leadership style. Opportunities to be a quality leader will present themselves no matter what your position is during your career. Making decisions like a leader will present challenges that are very hard to overcome. A highly positioned NC State employee, Melissa Greene, strives to be a leader in every situation life throws at her. She worked her way up to the assistant director position of NC State’s CSLEPS organization by having incredible leadership skills. Melissa offers some candid insight on lessons she has learned while climbing the ladder.
1) Sometimes leadership is incredibly difficult.
You have to make decisions that others don’t understand, tough calls which people might not initially agree, and everyone may not be on board with your decisions. You have to know that even though they don’t understand in the moment, they will understand later on.
2) Leadership can be isolated.
When many people are looking at you, there is always going be someone who is not happy with a decision you’ve made. If you keep your focus on the ultimate goal and purpose then it will continue to renew you every day.
3) Stay true to yourself, your values and the reason why you chose to be the leader you are.
When we get disconnected from ourselves it is more likely that you may not be proud of the decisions we make or we may not have the best impact on the organization or the people around us. Be sure to revisit your goals and individual needs frequently. Every employee needs personal clarity.
4) Being a leader does not mean that you are in front getting praise.
Sometimes it means you have to allow someone else the opportunity to get recognized. That piece of advice branches off of the fact that successful leadership is not selfish. It is completely about the people around us. It’s about letting them go on and impact the people around them. It’s a domino effect.
5) Never forget where you came from.
Stay genuine. Sometimes people climb very high and they treat people in lower starting positions badly. Remember that you were there once. When you are a leader you have to do the harder jobs with the people below you. You must know their concerns. They are on the front-line representing you and your company.
I believe that to achieve your life goals you have to focus daily on your purpose and walk. Invest heavily in yourself. Read a lot, engage in critical and difficult conversations, present at conferences, share your knowledge and experience, and find new opportunities along the way. If your efforts are daily and intentional you will make an impact.