How to Lead

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Are you a leader?

Not sure? Raise a hand if any of the elements below ring a bell:

> Accessible.

> Mixing compassion with concrete action.

> Wam and competent.

> A willingness to say, “This is what I need.”

Each of the above traits were highlighted in an article from Monday’s New York Times about leaders who had a real, true, tangible impact - oh and these leaders are also women.

The women referenced above are the President of CBS, Susan Zirinsky (she’s accessible), the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern (compassionate and driven towards concrete action), professor and researcher Amy Cuddy (who found that warmth and competence offset bias against women) and President of StubHub and former Googler, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, who requested that Google to pay travel costs for her baby and a nanny so that Singh Cassidy was able to both do her job and stay connected with her family.

I think we can agree that all of the elements above are critical to team building, inspiring action, and advocating on behalf of yourself, your team and your company. Just think about the characteristics of your favorite boss (past or present) if you don’t believe me.

But here’s the thing: it’s all garbage if you don’t learn how to incorporate those elements into your day to day life and apply them to yourself first.

In order to lead and inspire a team, you first must learn how to lead yourself.

And to me, that’s an exciting prospect. Because in an instant, we just turned the entire concept of leadership on its head.

You don’t need to be a member of the c-suite to be a leader. Instead, you just have to follow the leader right in front of you. And by that, I mean you. The leader is you.

Ami Watkin