Grace Jackson suntrust talks about leadership and how it helped lead her throughout all of her career paths. 

A lot of people confuse labels, titles, or statuses with leadership; but leadership is more than these. In fact, leadership isn’t about any of these at all. True, a successful and well-respected CEO would likely have exceptional leadership skills, since they’ve reached the pinnacle of corporate success, after all. But not everyone with a title is a good leader.

What does it take to be a leader?

First of all, a good leader leads by example. To earn the respect of followers, subordinates and others, you must practice what you preach. If the person is only good at giving orders, then that person isn’t really leading but rather, dictating what needs to be done—come hell or high water. Guess what you elicit when you dictate rather than lead? Fear. Your subordinates will follow not because they believe in you or they like the way you work with them as a team, but rather, because they are afraid that there will be hell to pay if they didn’t obey.

When you truly want to be an effective leader, you want to encourage fellowship and camaraderie while valuing individuality. You don’t want obedience.

Speaking of effective leadership, you must also be an excellent communicator to be effective. There’s nothing worse than being unable to clearly communicate with others your goals and vision, and the steps needed to achieve these. Using the right words, and speaking them in the right tone and manner will go a long way.

Finally, a great leader should also be a good follower. You know when to let others take the lead, and you have no qualms about following them for the betterment of the team. So you see, titles and labels really have nothing to do with effective leadership. It’s who you are as a person and as a member of your team that makes you good or bad at being a leader.

Read more about how you can be a leader, here on the Grace Jackson Suntrust Leadership Page.