Temple University’s Office of Leadership Development hosts a leadership seminar in the beginning of each semester. Last Fall, when I was a Freshman, I attended one as part of an extra credit assignment for a PR class. When some of my PRowl coworkers told me that they had just came back from the same seminar, I was excited. It’s always exciting when young people step up and take a challenge, like going to a leadership workshop with a bunch of strangers on a Saturday morning.
Public relations professionals definitely wear a lot of hats, but I personally believe that leader is the main hat. In “5 Tips For Becoming A Better Leader” Karen-Michelle Mirko highlights how to improve your skills as a leader:
- Lead by example-Sometimes the best way to learn is to do it yourself. Bossing people around and telling them what to do instead of how to doesn’t help them, and it certainly doesn’t help you in the long run. Make sure you keep the lines of communication open and free of any judgment. Also, keep in mind that those that are newer to the field will be looking to you as a model of what they should be like.
- Communicate your vision-It can be hard for others to understand where you are coming from. Try to keep them in the loop, like allowing interns to shadow you and brainstorm ideas. This is a great way for young people to get their feet wet by seeing the level of quality you expect and how you expect it.
- Hire people to complement, not duplicate you-It’s easy to hire people who remind me of you when you were starting out, you feel that nostalgia of how you felt at that age. However, you shouldn’t always strive for your clone, but someone who complements your skills. If you’re a strong speaker but weaker in writing, someone who is stronger in writing will be able to help you write a conference-worthy speech. Breaking the cycle will also introduce new talent into your office and promote a more diverse and creative atmosphere.
- Address conflict-Ignoring a problem never makes it better. Confronting issues at hand face-to-face will ensure a better outcome than straight out avoidance. Also, take notice of the effect of your decisions on co-workers and try to have an outcome that suits the overall health of the entire organization.
- Encourage leadership in others-Give others the chance to step up, as my PRowl co-workers did this past weekend. By doing so, they will feel more adequately prepared when the situation arises for them to take on more responsibility as your organization expands. They are the future and will prove to be your biggest asset.
Do you consider yourself a leader? If so, do you have anything to add to these tips? Let us know!