Economic Development CEO's naturally spend lots of time and energy identifying, developing and encouraging community leaders; and yet, we perhaps don't spend enough time working on our own leadership skills. Amy Collett is a marketing and branding expert who has spent decades working with leaders to help develop their personal brands. I recently came across a blog she authored on how to prepare to be a community leader and found it both insightful and timely so with her permission, I decided to share it with you today. Please enjoy this quick read and to learn more about Amy and her company, check out her website.
Resources That Help Business Leaders Advance Their Community Leadership
Chances are that when you began your journey into the world of business, your focus was on the business itself - not in leading the community in which you live. However, communities naturally turn to those who take on a business leadership role to lead them. Consciously or not, those around you look to you for direction. You inform their ideas regarding the community, you inspire their actions, and even shape how they feel about themselves and others.
That might sound like a tall order, but you're uniquely qualified for that position, and with a little shift in your perspective, you'll see it's a natural fit. These resources can help you dive deeper into bringing out the community leader within you:
There are many things that make someone an outstanding leader, but when it comes to winning attributes, Organizational Leadership Degrees points to the following.
Leaders should be open to others' insights and opinions, listen to those points of view, and decide how to take those viewpoints into account when planning.
Progress can be challenging and require endurance. For this reason, leaders should have courage.
Another key attribute is integrity. By doing what you say you're going to do, others can accept your word at face value.
Lastly, leaders should be forever vigilant, assessing and reassessing the journey's path for best results.
Popular logic indicates that leaders are born with their qualities. However, leadership attributes are something that can be developed.
Dive into self-development through courses, networking, reading material, and experiences. Let those opportunities stretch and grow you.
Build on your strengths, but also identify your weaknesses, then bring others into your circle that fill those gaps.
Consider finding a mentor. A mentor can be your sounding board, provide invaluable insights, and offer you feedback and objectivity you might struggle to find anywhere else.
Read Up to Level Up
When it comes to self-development, books are a popular go-to, and for good reason. You can pick them up and set them aside when you want, highlight favorite passages, and reread sections you need to better understand.
To aid your leadership journey, consider adding these titles to your own bookshelf:
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
Hsieh discusses the ins and outs of starting and growing a new business.
What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-Smart Executive by Mark McCormack
The best leaders know that soft skills and understanding others are a must. This book dives deeper into those areas.
Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson
Eleven Rings will have you analyzing your own leadership style and help you understand what it takes to be successful.
Connect with Your Community
Engaging with your community - especially through volunteering - can benefit you and your business in profound ways. At the same time, it's a reciprocal arrangement in which you benefit the community. Fortune explains further:
Philanthropy in the workplace - both for employers and employees - improves company culture. Participants experience more enjoyment in their jobs, higher morale, and better camaraderie.
Engaging in volunteerism enriches the lives of both the giver and recipient, boosts self-esteem, and develops a deeper appreciation for those in different circumstances.
Community service raises the reputation of both your business and the individuals who participate.
Improving the quality of life for members of your community improves the quality of life for future generations.
Leadership is loaded with responsibility, but it's also loaded with rewards. Examine the attributes that contribute to great leadership to see where you stand, take steps to develop personally, and engage in community service practices. Others are looking to you to lead, and with these resources and some self-development, you won't let them - or yourself - down.