Leadership: more than just taking control

While at a recent journalism convention, I sat in on a crash course on leadership and what it truly means to be a great leader. I realized that there is so much more to this role than simply being in control. It’s about creativity, compassion, communication, and a shared vision.

A good leader knows that it’s not all about them, it’s about empowering everyone around them. The best leaders can make every single person on their team know that they are important and vital to the success of the team as a whole. To deflect credit, to put others in the limelight, and let your team revel in their project, that’s leadership. It’s all about the team, the project, and the community.

Great leaders are able to communicate effectively and authentically. They know how to talk to and encourage each member of their group.They understand how it is equally as important to praise as it is to criticize. Leaders know what to say to inspire creativity and promote action without fear of failure. Failing is a crucial part of any kind of success, and if everyone plays it safe and is afraid to fail, there will be no room for creativity.

A successful team can work without the leader and can continue to run smoothly despite hiccups in plans or ideas. The leader is the face of the project, but it’s just as important to take responsibility as a team and a cohesive group.

In all, leadership is not about just taking control, it’s about sharing a vision and teaching others how to realize their own talents and reach their goals.