By Jan Ferri-Reed

Great leaders lead by example, not just by their words and ideas. The most effective form of leadership is built upon a sincere desire to make a positive contribution – linked with key leadership skills. The desire to make a positive contribution is more of a mental framework or mindset. Rather than skill, yet it is a mindset that can be fostered and developed through effective training, coaching and mentoring. No one is “born” a natural leader, as some would suggest. Environment and personality style can create the illusion of a “natural” leader, but all leadership skills are learned.

Many leadership skills are learned by the example of others, such as our parents, teachers and others who guide us. Some are learned through experiences with sports, siblings and friends. Others are learned more intellectually in school, training programs and personal reading. Anyone can develop the mindset and skills of leadership if a true desire exists.

Those who lead best are those for whom leadership itself is not the primary aim. True leaders inspire others to see and act upon the positive values and priorities they themselves possess. More importantly, those positive values and priorities must be validated by the leaders actions and behaviors by which they themselves live.

True leadership is not derived from a title or position. It is derived from personal participation and effectiveness. To be a leader, be an example. Les Brown, a world renowned public speaker, says “In order to have the things tomorrow others won’t have, you must be willing to do the things today others won’t do.” Leadership at its best enlarges and duplicates the efforts of the leader. Make those efforts the best they can be, and they’ll result in true, effective leadership.

Jan-Ferri-ReedDr. Jan Ferri-Reed, is President of KEYGroup and provides businesses with insightful information to create engaged, productive and profitable multi-generational organizations. She is the co-author of the best-selling book, “Keeping the Millennials: Why Companies Are Losing Billions in Turnover to This Generation and What to Do About It.” To hire Jan, visit: www.KEYGroupConsulting.com or call 724-942-7900.

This article may be reprinted for your use in an organizational newsletter and or e-zine provided that you contact Kelly Hanna, Director of Sales and Marketing at 724-942-7900 to gain permission.

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