Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward. – Victor Kiam
I’m writing from Austin at the Summer Leadership Training Institute for the Texas Counseling Association. The atmosphere is amazing and the rooms are full of new and seasoned leaders in the counseling field. Being here reminds me that getting your feet wet in leadership can feel a lot like trying yoga for the first time. We all know exercise is important to a healthy body but when we think about putting on yoga pants in order to contort in a crowded hot room, it’s tempting to just forget it and wear them to the grocery store instead.
As painful as the thought may be, leadership is an important part of personal growth, career development, family guidance, and civic duty. I asked a young woman at my table from San Angelo what it was like for her to be a newly elected leader. She replied that she was excited to get started and happy that her fear of making mistakes didn’t hold her back. After I complimented her on her decision to ‘lean in’ and embrace her new role, I decided to observe other leaders in the room to discover other characteristics that make a great leader.
- Don’t let your fear of making mistakes hold you back. Mistakes are part of the learning process. As my friend at the table noted, once you make them, you realize they weren’t as bad as you thought.
- Great leaders change how people feel by being useful, entertaining, and inspiring. Each person I met at this conference changed me in some way. The combination of passion and knowledge was contagious.
- Your organization helps its clients/employees/members be better versions of themselves every day, so leaders should do that also. A good leader builds trust and connects members.
- A good leader is an extension of the organization. He/she helps people understand more about who we are and what our organization stands for.