As someone who returned to college after a 28-year absence, I have had the opportunity to be a leader in many of the roles I had during my career. My leadership roles have run the gamut from a team of one to one hundred, and many in-between. Regardless of the size of my team, my leadership style remained steadfast, as a democratic leader. Like Jack Welsh, former CEO of General Electric, I too “encouraged and praised his employees to work independently and to learn how to be leaders themselves (Shriberg, 2011)).” Leading and mentoring teammates to become future leaders is the single most gratifying accomplishment as a leader. I have had the pleasure to work with many fine, young talented individuals and help them develop their leadership skills. Some of them stayed within the organization to further their careers, and others left to lead other companies, but in either case, it’s very rewarding seeing others flourish. Also similar to Mr. Welch, I find that my leadership style is more of a mentor, not a manager. By leading, I can create a vision and get my team to embrace it, and when they become passionate about their work, real progress can be achieved through the 3 C’s; communication, collaboration and contribution.
A Legendary Leader
Jack Welch took over the role of CEO and Chairman at General Electric (GE) in 1981, becoming the youngest leader in GE history. Because of his unmatched track record of success, fierce passion for winning and desire to change the world for the better, he became one of the world’s most respected CEOs. Jack created and articulated a vision, and got his team to own and execute that vision, all without micro-managing. He started by creating a communication culture that required mo...
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... into one of my “value boxes”. If a person is not aligned to my values, I get rid of them. This is a great way to convey to the rest of the team that we just don’t list our values, but we live them.
There are as many leadership styles as there are leaders and no definitive answer to which is best. What works for one might not work for another, but at the end of the day, each leader is following their set of values. I hope to continue my journey to being a great leader and am thankful for all of the resources available to me to expand my knowledge and skill-set in the leadership arena. For those starting out in the business world, there are many current leaders to emulate, including CEOs Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tony Hsieh of Zappos, and Meg Whitman of HP. These exceptional men and woman have great leadership traits that are worthy of following.
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