“Leadership” has become a common buzzword we hear thrown around a lot these days. People often associate leadership with power, influence, activism, and taking charge of situations. While these are certainly important qualities to have as a leader and should not be downplayed, they make up a narrow definition of leadership and miss much of the bigger picture. At MixR, we believe that anyone and everyone can lead—not just those with fancy titles or influential positions. Figures like the stay-at-home mom and the nonprofit volunteer are also leaders, and they need to be equipped with skills so that they are empowered to lead within their communities. Discussed below are three skills that may not be commonly associated with leadership but are imperative to instill in the next generation of leaders in order to prepare them for success in their professional but also their personal lives.
Self-Care: Having a strong work ethic is a necessary trait in a leader. However, this should not come at the expense of self-care. It is often said that you cannot pour from an empty vessel. It is only when one properly attends to one’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing that one can truly perform one’s best work and have the strongest impact on the communities they are serving. A leader recognizes the necessity of boundaries and not taking on more responsibilities than he or she can handle. To be effective as a leader, one should make sure that they dedicate a portion of their day—even as little as a half hour—to themselves and to activities that they enjoy. This in turn ignites and maintains the motivation to serve others to the best of one’s ability.
Cultural Awareness: In our increasingly globalizing society, having an understanding of different cultural norms and the ways in which people interact in different cultural contexts is of utmost importance. Furthermore, having people from diverse backgrounds working together on projects produces a stronger outcome, as this diversity integrates multiple perspectives. If one has the resources and opportunity to do so, traveling and immersing oneself in an environment different from one’s own is an experience not to be missed. One can also build cultural awareness without having to leave home by reading about different cultures, studying a new language, engaging in activities outside of one’s comfort zone, and interacting with people with whom one may not normally. Interacting with diverse groups of people is a great way to expand one’s horizons and to expose oneself to different points of view and ways of thinking, which is essential to leadership.
Resilience: Resilience refers to the ability to bounce back after facing an obstacle. Challenges and even failures are inevitable when working towards a goal or an outcome. An effective leader recognizes that challenges and failures are not destiny, but rather detours on the path forward. Having a strong sense of resilience builds positive morale and optimism, which in turn bolster one’s ability to push through challenges and figuring out creative, innovative ways to grapple with them.
At MixR we strongly believe that everyone is empowered to lead. We have built our platform on feminine leadership principles like self-organization, collaboration, and transparency—because it is time for a new kind of leadership. Join MixR today and start empowering your organization’s employees or members.