Empowering others is a critical component of sound leadership.
Leadership is learned and unique. It’s a muscle one needs to constantly exercise and build upon. To me, a leader must have a number of critical skills, the most important of which are the abilities to empower and communicate.
The best leaders I have worked with have treated me as an equal. They have built an environment where we as their colleagues feel safe voicing our own ideas and opinions; the results I’ve seen from this kind of empowerment are phenomenal. In my current leadership role, I have frequently considered how my past superiors have treated me when I performed my best to ensure I am making worthwhile decisions. Most often, these mentors taught me and validated my views while remaining constructive.
I think there is nothing better than a leader who is conscious of just how much they can communicate, and in so many ways: how they speak, act and show emotion is amplified and interpreted instantly. Leaders are watched constantly, and it takes a high amount of awareness to maintain the respect of those watching. Everyone has a different job, and a leader inherently needs to set an example, while treating those in other roles as equally important pieces to the puzzle.
Everyone takes to leadership differently, but a critical part of determining who you will be as a leader is interpreting the strengths and weaknesses of those who have lead you in the past. From there, you can determine what you choose to emulate, and what you’d prefer to avoid becoming.
Christine Wayman is a marketing professional based in San Antonio, Texas, and has a career focused on social and mobile strategies in digital marketing. She earned her marketing degree from DePaul University, and quickly began exploring the future of brand growth in our newer social age. Wayman has worked in integrated marketing with a large broadcasting corporation and helped curate a social marketing startup; today she is managing digital marketing for Tri-Starr Personnel, a Texas-based staffing firm. Her diverse experience in marketing has helped her develop a passion for brand development and engagement.