How is leadership within your reach?

By Sean Woodman (LinkedIn), Governor at Large, Generation Next

This article was originally published in the January 2022 issue of Generation Next Edition.

Who comes to mind when you hear the word “leader”? Is it a U.S. president, the CEO of your company, or the captain of your favorite team? We know the people in these roles are leaders, but does this mean you have to be a president, CEO or captain to become a leader?

Throughout my adult life, I have been learning more about leadership and how the role of a leader helps drive missions forward and influences the vision, goals, environment and culture around them. To me, a leader is not created overnight. A leader requires a mindset that is molded over years of learning, reading, growing, failures and vulnerability.

I also feel there’s a common misconception about a leader’s role and who can execute it. While a leader often presides over an organization, it takes time to get there. You can start strengthening your own leadership skills right now. Opportunities are likely within your work department, a local non-profit, a local community board, or even as a member of NTEA’s Generation Next.

Jack Kelly, founder and CEO of The Compliance Search Group and, published an article in Forbes titled, 10 Easy Ways To Become A Great Leader and Gain The Respect Of Your Team. These 10 tips really resonated with me. And best of all – these are all things that an aspiring leader such as an entry-level employee can put into practice from Day One. Those 10 easy tips include:

1. Communication is the key to success.
2. Clearly map out a plan and the expectations to achieve the goals.
3. Empower people by providing whatever resources they need to succeed.
4. Treat people with dignity and respect.
5. Be consistent.
6. Show employees that you trust and respect them.
7. Lead by example. *One of my personal favorite examples.*
8. Celebrate the little victories.
9. Take everyone’s input and then act decisively.
10. Don't micromanage.

As you move forward in your leadership journey, remember to learn as much as you can from other leaders, join a group like NTEA’s Generation Next to strengthen your skills, learn from your mistakes, and have fun growing!

Want more? You won't want to miss the Generation Next Leadership Workshop & Networking Reception on March 9. Author and former NFL player Alex Molden will present AAAs of Successful Leaders.


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