Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. —Jack Welch

amandacBefore you continue reading, I’d like you to stop and look back up at the title of this week’s post.  Notice what it says – being effective leader.  Not how to be a good leader, but an effective leader.  There’s a big difference between being a good leader and an effective leader.

Young women who are confident and empowered tend to stand out.  And young women who stand out usually find themselves in positions of leadership.  If you’re getting these emails, there’s a good chance you’re already in a position of leadership, or will be in one soon.  Young women in leadership positions can do great things.  They can bring companies to new heights, motivate sports teams, and pretty much move mountains.  It’s so important for young women to learn how to be effective leaders.

Throughout my years of high school and college, I’ve been the leader of numerous clubs and organizations.  I’ve developed from a good leader into an effective leader.  However I didn’t do this all on my own; I had great role models and lots of practice.  I learned by watching, and by trial and error. The most important thing I’ve learned is that being a leader doesn’t mean you always get your way.

Whether you’re the leader of a club, a sports team, or a company, here are some tips I’ve developed over the years that bring young women from good leaders to effective leaders.

LEARN from others.  Learn from the leaders who have led you throughout your life.  Decide what they did that you liked, and what they did that you felt wasn’t as effective.  Then turn that idea on it’s head.  Just as you looked up to leaders in your life, be the kind of leader that other young women can look up to.

LISTEN to others.  I’ll say it again.  Listen to others. Being a leader is not about you.  In fact it’s about everyone but you.  Being an effective leader doesn’t mean you always get your way.  It means listening to the ideas of everyone, and deciding what is best for the group as a whole, not what you like best.

LIVEN up your team.  Learn what techniques work well to motivate your group.  Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your team members and focus on their strengths.  Delegate tasks to the strengthens of each person, so that you don’t become overwhelmed as a leader and everyone becomes a team player.

LOVE what you do.  If you’re passionate about the club you lead, if you love the sport you’re the captain of, if the company you’re the head of is your dream job, let everyone see it.  Part of being an effective leader is being passionate about what you do.  Positivity is contagious.  If you’re excited about your leadership role, it gets your team excited too.

At the end of the day, always remember that you’re a team player.  Always do what’s best for the team and do your best to be a good role model.  As a leader, it’s you’re responsibility to lead with grace and confidence like the amazing young woman you are.

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