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Aug 01 2019
Developing Leadership
Rebecca Mullins, CCE, Codale Energy Service & Supplies

What is leadership? The website Wikipedia defines leadership as "both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to lead or guide individuals, teams or entire organizations." With so much information online and companies using leadership as a buzz word, the big question is "How do you become a leader?"

To be a leader in today's business world is a challenge but can also be very rewarding. Being a leader has different meanings for different individuals. For some people, leadership is not a skill they want to learn, and they have no interest in leading people in their work or personal lives. Others live their lives embodying many of the same principles of leadership and inspire to be a leader whether they are at work or at home.

In my experience, professional and personal growth, I have started a list of leadership traits that I strive to follow and instill in teams at work and with my family at home. There are many traits that can be associated with leadership, but I would like to focus on four that I practice regularly.


Positivity is a matter of perception. Every person sees this trait differently. I like to maintain a positive attitude for myself, and for my team. A leader has the ability to better their environments with positivity and can help maintain a good positive work culture. Team morale is impacted by the leader's attitude and focus.


One cannot lead without knowing what the purpose is and understanding motivation. The purpose can be many things; at work it can be a vision for the future, or it can be personal achievement to an individual. For motivation, a person must ask questions and build relationships to understand the people around them. When someone has a purpose and motivation, the sky is the limit.


The most recent leadership book that I have read was The Servant by James Hunter. The book was eye-opening, it discussed several scenarios and how they relate to everyday life. I have now read it twice and probably will again - every time that I have read it, I take another little piece away that helps with daily life. However, I am still a work in progress. The principle of compassion and giving was one that I have never struggled with in my personal life, however I must admit that I have struggled in the work forum. I kept a different outlook at home than I did at work. The book depicts situations that assist in giving trust and attention, and also work on hearing versus listening. It stressed giving feedback, being non-judgmental and most importantly being honest with others and one's self.


Topics on giving, compassion and humility led me to understand that I needed to work on accountability. I could tell myself that I had made an error, but pride would stand in the way of my being able to admit to others the situation, and it would impede my progress in resolution. A few years ago, I had a great mentor at school that helped me realize that if I did not understand or break apart the how and why, then I would never be able to be truly accountable.

Being a leader impacts people around you, both personally and professionally. I have found that when I maintain a positive attitude, focus on the purpose of work or life, show compassion for other's struggles and give them a hand up so that we can work together moving forward, accountability improves and it is not as hard to admit mistakes, and I can work on any shortcomings.