Take a second and consider the ways you act as a leader. Are you a leader at work? At school? In your personal life? Perhaps you’ve always felt like more of a follower than a leader, and that’s fine. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to demonstrate leadership skills in multiple areas of your life.
If you’re pursuing a business degree, leadership is a valuable skill to develop. Acting as a leader isn’t all about stepping up and taking charge, though. Learning to become a leader is more complex—and more significant—than most students realize.
Leadership and Teamwork
The first thing you should learn about leadership is that it’s really all about teamwork. The best leaders encourage, support, and instruct their teammates. After all, without a team, what purpose does a leader serve?
Take, for example, a typical work setting. Your boss holds a leadership position, and you’re supposed to follow your boss. But at the same time, your boss should follow you—that is, he or she should support you with the tools and guidance you need. And even when you’re in a subordinate position, you can still demonstrate leadership skills. Teamwork is a give and take relationship, so you don’t necessarily have to be the boss, the coach, or the teacher to act as a leader.
One way you can demonstrate your leadership is to lead by example. By setting an example, you not only act correctly but you encourage others to do the same. Leaders essentially help others meet high standards of performance, whether on the field, in the classroom, or in business.
Some of the other qualities that a good leader should demonstrate include:
So when you're encouraged to work on your leadership skills in your business degree program, don’t focus on becoming the person in charge. Instead, concentrate on helping others pursue goals using your own insights, experience, support, and other resources. By doing so, you could find that serving as a leader comes naturally.
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