Unlike mere supervisors whose power comes solely from a job title or company hierarchy, true leaders are those whom people want to follow. But how do you earn the kind of trust and admiration that draw people to you, regardless of your position in the pecking order?
Leading “side by side”
Fruitful leadership comes from leading “side by side,” writes Jeffrey McDermott, President/CEO of The Center for the Performing Arts, in a post for the Hamilton County Leadership Academy: “For [people] to buy into your vision and go the extra mile for the organization, you must build a relationship of mutual respect and trust.”
Behaviors that make that possible include celebrating collective and individual successes, dishing out praise frequently and publicly, criticizing constructively and privately, and modeling the behavior you want to see in others, McDermott explains. What’s more, “don’t micromanage” and “don’t cling to petty notions of rank that create barriers between people,” he cautions.
Dana Donahue, a fellow OneZone member and vice president of Lake City Bank, concurs: “When I was in my first leadership role directly out of college, I barely knew how to do my job, let alone manage my team,” she writes. Over time, Donahue learned that a willingness to help carry the load, empowering others with adequate training and tools, and learning how to communicate effectively made tremendous difference in inspiring employees to give their best and stick around for the long run.
Down with stale leadership
“As I became more experienced in my role as a leader, I learned every leader needs to be constantly evaluating more effective ways to lead,” Donahue added. It’s why we partner with the Hamilton County Leadership Academy — HCLA, for short. The program is designed to educate driven professionals like you on local issues so you can help solve problems in our community.
Like McDermott and Donahue, OneZone members have a long-standing tradition of cultivating knowledge, relationships, and community solutions via HCLA programs and events.
Are you a good fit for HCLA?
Wondering how the HCLA might benefit you, and vice versa? Participation in the HCLA 10-month program is highly competitive, note program officials: “Participants are chosen based on leadership potential, ability and interest in serving our community.”
Access application details here. It’s a bit early for the next selection round, so it’s a good idea to sign up for updates on future events and deadlines.
Engage peers & leaders
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or climbing the first steps in your chosen career field, it’s crucial to get face time with peers and potential mentors. (We’ve written about how to make those connections count here.)
May we suggest three growth actions in the next three minutes?
Need a hand, intro or nudge?
We’re happy to help. Complete a Business Connect request to share with fellow members, or contact our staff. We’ll be thrilled to connect you to the right people or resources.
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