Leadership Series: The Speed of the Leader

06-21-2012 7:24 AM

Today’s post is from Melinda Foster Sellers. Melinda is the Chief People Officer at Mary Kay. Melinda shares her insight on the characteristics of a good leader. 

Melinda Foster Sellers the Chief People Officer at Mary KayBe the Kind of Leader Others Want to Follow

Stop for a moment and think about the best leader you ever had.  What made them great?  How did they inspire you to be your best?  How did they treat you? Next think about how others would describe you as a leader.  Be honest. Are you doing all those things?  Are you the kind of leader others want to follow?

If the answer is no, or “well, I probably could do better in certain areas” (that’s definitely the camp I fall in), then now is a great time to take a step back, reassess and make some changes.  Don’t try to change your whole leadership style overnight.  Just pick one or two impactful things and work to implement them.  It might be listening more to others, it might be praising others to success more, or it might be taking more risks personally and professionally.

Just remember, the first step is taking an honest look in the mirror.  The second step is taking action.  The third step may be the one we forget to do the most often – follow up.  Set a calendar reminder for three months in the future to reassess and tweak as needed.

You may be reading this and saying to yourself, “I’m not a leader.  This doesn’t apply to me.”  Sure it does. Your title may not say “leader” but you are a leader whether you serve as a member of a team, an executive, a member of a unit or as a parent.  You are a leader.  Act like one and others will follow.

Just remember, make sure you are setting the example of the kind of leadership others will want to follow!  Following the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have done unto you is a great basic leadership principle.  Treat people you interact with as you would want to be treated, and you’ve made a huge first step in enhancing your leadership skills.

Who is your leadership inspiration?