Leadership 101: In 2 Minutes

Leading is mobilizing a group of individuals and guiding them in the achievement of a common goal. To resolve conflicts, listen, be levelheaded, and communicate respectfully. In a time of conflict, you should always talk through the issue at hand. Listen to the other side and express your position and reasoning for that position. In a fast-paced environment, it can be tough to achieve objectives. You must slow yourself down and take the necessary time to think things through. Do not make hasty decisions. Be disciplined. Focus on the essential objectives and work down from there. Empower your staff and delegate work accordingly to stay on task.

I know, leading through change takes excellent planning. Create a plan and communicate that plan effectively. Ensure all your staff is invested in the project, has input in the plan, sets goals, and holds everyone accountable. Often, the most challenging part of being a leader is working through the different personalities of your staff. Different things motivate different people. For some, it could be money. For others, it’s recognition or simply the internal satisfaction of knowing you did a good job. Leaders must find what motivates different people to press the right buttons to get the most out of them and help them in their job/careers. You must set aside your preconceptions and biases, empathize, connect with people, and learn what makes them tick. With a large group of people, this can be particularly tough.

Last, two essential values for a leader are humility and authenticity. People don’t take well to those they feel are being ‘fake’ or have enormous egos. Many managers have egos because they are in a position of power, which doesn’t endear them with their staff. To be an effective leader, your staff must know you have their back. You have to know what motivates them to work with you. Personally, my greatest weakness is a tendency to get stressed by little. People can tell when you’re stressed, and it can distract others from their jobs. It is my opinion; the team-first mindset is a lost art that has been replaced with the less impressive mindset of individualism.

Husband, Author, Firefighter, Advocate Against PFAS