The SEG 
KNOWLEDGE CENTER

The First Step to Leadership Excellence is You

By Susan Hall

Remember your first job? The thrill of your first check, a sense of independence and usually the worst boss ever. Back then, you probably thought that being the boss just meant barking orders and yelling. Since then, you have matured and so has your career. You now have the advantage of working with multiple managers and leaders. Is there a favorite among them? Are you now a manager and finding it difficult to motivate your team to exceed expectations? Have you ever thought about why? The first step to Leadership Excellence is YOU.

If your actions inspire others to
dream more, learn more, do more
and become more, you are a
leader. John Quincy Adams

What are the qualities of the people you enjoy being around? Positive. Enthusiastic. Honest. Engaging. Caring. Now transfer those qualities to you favorite manager. How many did they possess? My guess is that they combined all 5 and EARNED your TRUST. When a leader is Honest you feel that you are informed about the “why” of the task. Positive and Enthusiastic leaders are motivating to be around. Their energy is contagious. Even if you doubt your abilities, you tend to dig deeper to succeed. Add Engaging and Caring to the leader and how do you feel? You feel important and part of the team. You have Purpose.

Purpose, the mission or reason we were born, is the essence of our leadership, and always larger than us. It inspires and is the quality that attracts and retains people.Richard J. Leider, founder and principal of The Inventure Group.

Purpose comes from within the leader. You need to truly live the values, purpose, and vision if you want to see it reflected in your employees, family and friends.

Look in the mirror and ask yourself one simple question, “What do I believe in?” Write it down. Be authentic to yourself. This will probably just be a list of words. How you want others to see you is not your beliefs but it could lay the foundation for how you improve. You have started to define your values. You have created a blueprint for your actions.

When I was young and free and imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to only change my country. But it too seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it. And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize, if I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would have then been able to better my country and, may have the world. Anglican Bishop

Leadership is earned. So when questions or doubt arise, think back to your values. Remove all of the environmental stresses. What will you do? When you truly believe in who you are, you act according to your values. You have established a foundation to stand upon and those around you will notice. You now have the opportunity to earn their trust. You just might change the world, but the first step to Leadership Excellence begins with YOU!

Published: January 24, 2014

MEET THE AUTHOR

Susan Hall

Vice President- Business Development & Performance Improvement

Susan brings over 20 years of experience working with global markets and organizations, helping them navigate through tough economic challenges while maintaining their margins. Since joining SEG in 1995, she has had the privilege of working with organizations that truly value the development of their employees and recognize the impact their people have on their bottom line results. Susan graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a double major in business management and speech communication. She has also completed course work toward her master's degree at Johns Hopkins University.

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