Leadership Series: At Your Best
Our Leadership Series continues with a blog post from Anne Crews. Anne is the Vice President of Government Relations, and she is an avid supporter of community volunteerism.
Great leaders are good followers.
It is my belief that a proven leader has a responsibility and a privilege to mentor and support others while continuing to grow and strengthen his or her skills. The best leaders are the ones who are willing to lead and willing to follow.
We all have an ongoing opportunity to learn and grow. We also have a chance to learn and grow from each other. Great leaders keep an open mind to the talents that everyone brings to the table. They understand that no one person has all of the answers - including themselves.
Everyone has an opportunity to be a leader and a mentor in some area of life. I’ve been fortunate to have had great mentors during various career opportunities. Some were my supervisors but others were not. I also try to take the opportunity to learn from my peers and from people who report to me. Every person has a unique skill set and perspective. Just by going into a situation with an open mind, you can learn from anyone and everyone - shaping you as a leader and as a person.
This is true in the workplace and in other aspects of your life. Working with a nonprofit organization or business-related board or commission can hone your skills. In fact, there are perhaps more opportunities to develop and hone leadership skills with these groups than even in the traditional work environment. They offer less manipulation from and more freedom for group interaction to achieve plans and solutions. For me, volunteering with nonprofits who are facing significant challenges provided key opportunities for me to learn, grow and use leadership skills.
So if there is one tip I want to share, it is to take advantage of every opportunity. Sometimes you may lead. Sometimes you may follow. But if you take advantage of these occasions, you will always learn.
Anne Crews regularly volunteers with nonprofit organizations. Anne worked for many years with The Family Place, a family violence service provider in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Anne is pictured at a groundbreaking ceremony for The Family Place’s Nature Explore Classroom – a project that she helped bring to fruition. Anne says, “When you use your talents to help your community, you are truly at your best.”