Think about the worst boss you’ve ever had compared to the best boss you’ve ever had. Some key differences in effective leadership involve changing the mindset of what leadership looks like. Leaders do not drag people behind them kicking and screaming. They lead by example, taking along others on the same path in the same direction.
One of our goals at the Junior League of Salt Lake City is to train women to be effective community leaders. Our women’s leadership group works with other women to train them to be more effective, more organized, and more confident. Those we train are then sent into the community to make an impact.
So what does effective leadership look like?
Effective communication is essential for effective leadership. In the Junior League’s efforts to train the next generation of leaders, this group of women has to be able to communicate thoughts, ideas, goals, and strategies in a way that connects with other women. It is especially important in a group made up entirely of volunteers, where success of the organization hinges on good communication.
This is not as simple as setting up a few lectures. Effective communication goes far beyond mere speaking. It is a two-way street that facilitates a meeting of the minds between mentors and those being mentored. When done right, communicating goes beyond imparting knowledge to also inspire vision.
Brimming with Passion
The most effective leaders are those who are passionate about what they are doing. Think about Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony. Neither of these incredible women would have been effective leaders had they gone into their respective causes with absolutely no passion. If they had displayed an obvious lack of interest, their efforts would not have enjoined other to their causes.
Fueled by Vision
You cannot reach a destination without a roadmap. Our leadership group has a very defined vision you will find right here on our website. It is a four-point vision that seeks to:
- train women to be more effective, organized, and confident leaders
- encourage them to get involved in the local community
- introduce them to like-minded women
- challenge them to create lasting change in the community.
Having a vision gives us a purpose for training women. It gives those who join our women’s leadership group a purpose for being trained. Combined, we can all grab hold of the vision and then get involved in making Salt Lake City a better place.
Tempered by Humility
If there is one thing that we have learned over the years it is the necessity of humility. It’s true that you can whip people into a frenzy to get them motivated, then get them to continue doing what you want them to do through coercion, manipulation, and intimidation. But doing so is both wrong and ineffective over the long term. A better way to lead is to do so with humility.
Humility is a characteristic that is so lacking in the modern world. So many want to be seen on social media. So many want to be noticed for their accomplishments. Yet so much is left undone when narcissism is the rule of day. You can bet Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman, and Susan B. Anthony were not trying to make a name for themselves. These change-makers were humbly serving others and their causes, not for personal affirmation or glory.
In Junior League, we lead through the Servant Leadership model. This is not the typical top-down model of leadership and dictatorship. It is a model essential to this quote: “if service is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you.” Servant leadership is about learning from others to best meet the needs of the individual and the organization. Effective leaders support their staff and recognize the potential and voice of others in reaching organizational goals.
The Junior League of Salt Lake City is training Salt Lake City’s leaders of tomorrow. We hope that by training women to be change-makers in our community, we are improving their lives as well and the overall health of the Salt Lake community.