I speak often to groups of aspiring young leaders. Typically, the question on their minds when I begin is "what do I need to DO to become a leader?" I quickly aim to change their orientation from what they must DO to what they must BE.
Success in leadership is attributed not only to what you do; it is dependent on who you are. We set young leaders up to fall if we encourage them to envision what they can do before first considering the kind of kind of leader they want to be.
This holds particularly true for aspiring young women. By helping young women understand the kind of leader they must be, we enable and elevate their ability to influence, catalyze and transform the future.
I have detailed the following TO-BE List for their consideration:
- Be a Learner. Being a lifelong learner is what empowers your relevance for the rest of your life. Eric Hoffer captured it best when he said, "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." Don't be beautifully equipped for irrelevance -- keep learning.
- Be a Question Asker. I have been teaching and writing about the importance of asking great questions for a long time. Great questions are the best way to have a meaningful conversation, the best way to rope in a mentor and the best way to look like a star performer. Make it a priority to listen to people asking great questions. Be in charge of the questions you ask and keep a list of the best questions you hear. Use this to create a question toolbox you use and can apply to every conversation and interaction you have.
- Be Courageous. We don't serve the rest of the world or ourselves by playing small. Humanity's misfortune is when we don't realize the very gifts we have, or the impact we have the opportunity to make. It is imperative that you own and honor your genius, and make a contribution that matters. Don't wait to be recognized; find appropriate ways to trumpet your achievements. Learn the remaining six tips from Huffington Post contributor and author Angela Maiers.