“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”Margaret Fuller
In one form or another, I’ve been leading for nearly as long as I can remember. In first or second grade, I led my Sunday School class in a newspaper drive. I don’t remember what the newspapers were for, but I remember walking around my neighborhood with my red wagon collecting used newspapers. In fourth grade, I directed and acted in a classroom play about a scarecrow. In fifth grade, my friend, James, and I were the lead editors for a publication known as “The Presby Press.” In high school, I participated in student government. In college, I led in several organizations. Since college, I’ve led countless small groups, I’ve led through my involvement in organizations like Toastmasters and Rotary, and I’m a recognized leader where I work as the Branch Operations Manager for Projects at Siemens Smart Infrastructure Philadelphia Branch.
While leadership has been part of me for a long, long while, I’m realizing (again) that I still have so much to learn. Thankfully, there are great leaders around me and great leadership resources to help me as I stretch in my leadership.
I recently came across an excellent leadership resource which is included in my Audible subscription – The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Leader People Want to Follow by Mark Miller. Listening to this book renewed by sense of leadership and my responsibility to continue to learn and grow. Here are the main things I learned as I listed to the book:
- Leaders must Hunger for wisdom. There is still more to learn. We must be students of leadership. If you’re looking for a place to start, I’d encourage you to pick up this book.
- Leaders must Expect the best. Having a positive outlook is important, and expecting the best from those around you is a significant marker of someone who has developed leadership character.
- Leaders must Accept responsibility. Leaders take the blame when necessary, and they share the praise when something goes right.
- Leaders must Respond with courage. Leading is not always easy. In the face of adversity or change, a leader must be courageous.
- Leaders must Think of others first. It’s not about me. It’s about my team members. How can I help them? What can I do that will help them succeed?
These lessons represent the HEART of leadership.
In this year of renew, I’m thankful for these reminders. I want to lead well. I want my leadership to leave a mark. And I want my leadership to make a difference.