Learning occurs in a myriad of facets whether through experiential learning or the pursuit of education. At Concordia, I appreciate the alignment of core values including servant leadership and lifelong learning with the mission statement. With an interest in many disciplines and to broaden my background, I personally chose and recently earned certificates in leadership from Cornell University online. I thought I would take a moment to share some of what I learned as well as concepts the programs reinforced.
Leadership exists in many forms. A leader can have positional authority. However, positional authority does not necessarily equate to leadership. Leadership transcends position. One must know when to follow and when to lead. Each of us will weave in and out of follow and lead modes.
Do you know your leadership style? Does it change based on the situation?
Several leadership styles exist:
Great leaders know how to build collaborative teams. As Dr. Kate Walsh, Associate Professor of Management in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, explains that this involves diagnosing, managing, growing, and letting go of your team. This necessitates trust, building relationships, and empowering members to own the process and desired outcomes.
Great leaders create synergy and foster engagement while harnessing the energy and talents of members. They know how to lead meetings effectively and efficiently while maintaining a good balance of process and desired outcomes. Great leaders recognize behavior and preferred communication patterns. They also ethically support their team. This necessitates responsibility and mutual respect.
Great leaders invest in their organization’s most important asset: People. Successful organizations improve results through talent management. Great leaders serve as coaches and mentors. They show a vested interest in and develop direct reports.
Committed to the growth of people, great leaders learn how to establish direction, align people, and motivate and inspire. Dr. Bradford S. Bell, Associate Professor of Human Resource Studies and Director of Executive Education in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, recommends a series of “Getting Results through Talent Management” steps.
- Examine Your Talent Philosophy
- Identify Your Key Talent
- Devise Development Strategies for Engagement and Retention
- Measure the Effectiveness
Whether volunteering time and talent through community service or helping those in need, leadership resonates everywhere.
“The greatest contribution of a leader is to make other leaders.” - Simon Sinek
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This blog was written for, and first published by, the Indiana CPA Society.