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The leader is you!

We are all leaders whether we want to be or not. Leadership is defined as the ability to influence others to work toward an agreed upon goal (Baggerly-Hinojosa, 2010). We all carry that influence characteristic. Some of us have a positive influence on others while some of us have a negative influence on others. Either way, it is leadership. Leadership behaviors, attitudes, and styles are important when building relationships with others that promote healthy organizations, families, and communities. Dubrin (2012) defines leadership effectiveness as a process of helping group members reach goals based on (1) objective data such as sales and production and (2) subjective data such as judgments and perceptions by others about the leaders’ effectiveness. Effective leaders must find a way to transform traits and skills into behaviors that promote goal attainment. Because of the need for effective leadership behaviors, much research has been done on how leadership behaviors relate to organizational performance.

Other people are watching you. They are making decisions in their lives based on what example you are showing them. It is time that we take the responsibility of leading others seriously and work toward being the positive influence that so many people need in their lives. What are you doing to develop yourself? What skills are you working on today that will help you reach your goals and allow you to help other people reach their goals?

As we begin a new month of this New Year, let us all give some thought to our goals for February. What do we want to have accomplished by the end of the month? Who can we help and who can help us? Effective leaders understand the responsibility of being a positive influence for others as well as the responsibility of helping others grow personally and professionally. We can no longer think that it is someone else’s job to be the leader. YOU are the leader. Take some time this month to set your goals and participate in activities that will further develop your skills that will help you reach those goals. Enroll in a class, attend a seminar, read a book, and/or look up some articles.

In order to be a more effective leader, we must continually be learning and developing ourselves. We are the example for others to follow! The following tips can help as we develop leadership skills.

· Develop your skills

· Build positive relationships with others

· Find a mentor

· Be a mentor

Baggerly-Hinojosa (2010). Are You a 10? The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader. USA:Lulu Press.Dubrin, Andrew. (2012). Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills, 7th Edition