The Ever Changing “Leader”

As I sit contemplating what being an effective leader means to me, I can’t help but to think of all the people who fill this role in our lives. Starting from the day we were born, we have been led by parents, family, teachers, Churches, coaches, bosses, etc.… each one of those people play a crucial part in molding what “leader” means to all of us.

I have had the pleasure of working with nurturing mentors and/or leaders who have a true team approach. They set an exceptional example on how a team mentality works. They found their team members strengths and help build upon those. Kept an open-door policy and making it easy to share ideas leading to growth. It was important that everyone was heard, valued, and encouraged. By doing so it cultivated a positive work environment with a sense of purpose. This energy then transmitted to our client and business interactions. They achieved a happy, productive workplace environment and made their business a true success.

On the extreme opposite, I have experienced working with an unmotivated, micro-manager. The office morale was dark and stressed. There was no room for opposition or new ideas. There were no “good jobs” or “thank you’ s” only “we aren’t doing enough”. One by one, talented, creative, and capable individuals moved on. Our clients felt the negativity resulting in loss of good business. All of this because of one bad leader.

These last few weeks I have had the opportunity to visit with some local business leaders in Aurora. They have shared what their organization’s look for and need in a leader. And taught key points on how they work to meet that need. A common factor I have noted is that a successful organization needs a team. It’s imperative to have a visionary to think big and next level. To have an organizer to help structure those visions and keep things running smoothly. A motivated individual, a doer, to go out and share the vision of the business. It is necessary to build a team that compliments each other’s strengths and weaknesses. One person can’t do it all.

Secondly, there are no two people exactly alike. In the business climate of 2019, you need to be inclusive and open to diversity. We have to look beyond our bias and see the unlimited potential out in the world. As leaders, we may have to push ourselves out of our comfort zone to explore all opportunities. To bring new vision and flavor to thrive in today’s ever-changing business world. Immerse yourself in getting to know who makes up your community. Get out, connect, and ask what their needs are.

I will move forward in my role with a clearer vision as to what type of leader I want to be. My vision is to be positive, motivated, inclusive, goal oriented, intuitive, and warm. I am leading dynamic individuals with different views, qualities, and attributes. It is important that I recognize their strengths and build on them. I am thankful for all the examples, good or bad, from those who have shaped my definition of what being a leader is. It is important to realize the individual impact we have on people. We are either directly or indirectly shaping someone else’s “leader” definition too.

Blanca Townsend is a personal lines account rep with Konen Insurance and a 2019 participant in the Aurora Leadership Academy.

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