KNOW YOURSELF and what you stand for and where you are headed.
You must understand who you are before you can decide who you want to be. Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses and understand your limitations. Set realistic goals for yourself, keeping in mind that a balance between work and life makes for a healthy leader. Maintain your own morals, values and ethics, so you can hold yourself to the high standards you set. Unleash the leader within you, taking control of your career and steering it in the precise direction you want to go.
COMMUNICATE with passion and poise, in writing and in person.
The strongest communicators do more than just talk. Aspire to deliver a speech powerful enough to inspire an entire auditorium or to put pen to paper in such a way that others can be rallied into action through the power of your words. Learn to negotiate for the best possible outcomes with both logic and compassion. The ability to do all this will make you a communicator who embodies conviction and passion – qualities a great leader needs to succeed.
LISTEN with more than just your ears.
Strive to be an active listener who processes what is being conveyed and learn from people through their words. It is by listening with your heart, as well as your head, that you will build lasting relationships strengthening your cohort and helping others around you to grow along the way.
CONNECT to your peers, your industry and everything around you.
You cannot move forward without a keen understanding of your network – the people you work with and the industry you work in. Immerse yourself in the economics and business practices that affect your company, clients and colleagues. Keep your ear to the ground. Be aware of your competition and gain the upper hand. Build a support system for yourself and those within your community. Great leaders get connected and stay connected, using every ounce of information to their advantage.
BE A CATALYST and set the wheels of change in motion.
Progress is never made by standing still or by relying on the same old ideas. As a leader, you must push the envelope to transform our industry with innovative concepts that are bigger and better than ever before. Take initiative. Raise the bar. Demand equality on all fronts and embrace diversity. Above all, never accept less respect than you offer others because change can only take hold if it is grounded in respect.
BE FEARLESS and confident in your convictions as you take risks and bring others along.
To be a great leader, look fear in the eye and turn it to your advantage as the force driving you into uncharted territory. Use the adrenaline to keep climbing the corporate ladder. Don’t surrender or retreat. Commit to your vision and believe in it above everything else. Others will sense your conviction and be willing to follow – without fear.
INSPIRE and others will follow.
Rally those around you to support your vision. Be a mentor, a guide and a role model — one who learns from what she teaches. Help those around you achieve their full potential with a helping hand that paves the way for future leaders. Be dynamic and strong, and you will inspire others to embrace your vision as the one they want to be part of, and the one they choose to follow.