Lessons from Leadership

Today, Monique Moreno continues to take us through her leadership journey in part 4 of 5 of her leadership blog series. She is covering her leadership journey as she attempts to survive in this 21st century technological jungle.

Over Christmas break, I held two seasonal jobs. One was at an upscale jewelry place; one was at a national clothing chain. I expected there to be a difference in the way the employees were treated, but never did I imagine the differences would be made so painfully obvious. At the jewelry store, we were treated to dinners, had healthy competition amongst us as we participated in employee contests, and even had a fully stocked fridge. At the national clothing chain, the managers didn’t remember my name, we were treated as if we were invisible, and we were never treated to nice meals. (Oh, no. I take it back. One time I had a slice of cold pizza, though I’m not too sure what its origins were.) You can guess which place I’ll be happily returning to work seasonally this coming Christmas break, and which one I will never again step foot in as long as I live.

Being college-aged has given me a great opportunity to partake in many leadership roles, but it has also allowed me the chance to step into things at the “bottom of the ladder” and really get a feel for what it’s like to be on the other side. It’s demonstrated to me again and again that the way you treat the people you lead really does make a difference.

Sometimes it’s good for us to take a step back and reevaluate how we’re leading, no matter where we are in life. Do we lead with an iron fist because we think that’s most effective? Or do we not speak up so as to avoid causing tension? I’ve certainly been guilty of both extremes.
What leaders put into their environment, they will see come back to them. This could be both positive and negative, so it’s obviously best to make the overall experience positive. I challenge you to think back to your high school part-time job, to your college internship, to the very first job you had after graduation. Did you absolutely love it? Did you absolutely hate it? Did you not care? Did you leave the position satisfied? If you’re still at this phase of life like I am, or about to enter this phase of life, take notes. Take notes of the things reflected in your boss’ leadership style that you love. Start doing them. Take notes of what they do that you don’t favor. Vow to never repeat their mistakes.
In order to be a good leader, we must consciously make decisions that benefit the team as a whole. Even if you don’t believe you are currently a leader, you are still a leader-in-training, and you should learn from your everyday experiences in order to better develop your style. And especially if you are a current leader, learn from those before you and those leading alongside you to strengthen your ways. Leadership is ever evolving and none of us are ever fully developed!

Check back next Thursday to read the final post about Monique’s leadership journey!

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