By Julia Zaeske
Leaders are people we regularly encounter, whether it’s at a job, an event or in politics. Everyone has a different take, definition and style of leadership. I had the privilege to interview three senior professionals who are leaders themselves and regularly recruit and hire future leaders into open positions.
Dane has had an extensive career in PR and Advertising. It is very telling when asked, alive or dead, which leader would you choose to spend the day with, what is essential to see in a leadership candidate. Abraham Lincoln was Dane’s choice, and he was unequivocally going to play was out of the question. Drinks were still on the table, though, along with discussions of leadership styles and challenges.
Empowering leadership among women is something Carol supports passionately. In addition, her admiration for influential leaders extends to all. Nelson Mandela is the leader she wishes to sit down with because his lessons in focus, purpose, and resilience are so relevant today.
Tina selflessly gives back from her mentorship and counseling to the animals she rescues from the streets. However, mentors a musician and fan of Nancy Wilson, her perspective weighed in her choice to spend a day with the icon. The ability to see and interpret beyond the black and white of the written word or notes of music is essential to both musicians and communications professionals. It’s music magic when it all comes together.
Leadership was simply defined as “the capacity to lead” by Merriam-Webster. This prompted me to look up the definition of lead which is “to guide on the way especially by going in advance.”
There are tons of different leadership styles and leadership style theories available in this day and age. The list is so exhaustive narrowing down was a necessary evil. Three leadership styles were described when answering their definition of leadership.
- Active Listening
- Room to learn
- Smart Assessments
- Taking the bull by the horns when needed
The Servant Leader
- Dealing with Adversity
- Overcoming Challenges
- Conquering Setbacks
Having just one style is not the answer when acting as a leader. Different situations call for different types of leadership. Recognizing which traits to use for the specific problems faced is what is essential. The ability to recognize this comes with time, experience, and mentorship.
Confidence & Humility: These are the two most commonly desired traits for discovering a leader. There is a fine line between the two, coming across as cocky or insecure if not careful. Being secure in your knowledge as a leader but admitting when you do not have the answers shows both confidence and humility in a way that gains respect.