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Carrington College Blog

How to become a better leader

March 26, 2013
Use these tips to become a better leader.
Use these tips to become a better leader.

While college students have a lot to focus on – from studying for final exams, to creating powerful resumes and filling out job applications – something many students may neglect is cultivating that all-important quality that will help them be successful in their future careers: leadership. Distinguishing yourself as an effective leader is a huge component of success in any career. To become a better leader, follow these tips:

1. Listen

The best leaders don’t do all the talking. Instead, they listen to their colleagues and peers to discern what challenges they are facing and concerns they may have. If you’re going to be a leader, you will need to understand what the problem is before you address it.

2. Have confidence

In order for others to feel comfortable having you as a leader, you will need to project confidence. This is not to say that you should act without thinking, but rather that you must communicate that you are competent, even if you don’t know the answer to a question.

3. Keep an open mind

Leaders who are well-liked and respected are open to new ways of doing things and do not prevent people from disagreeing with them. Know that there are always ways of doing things better, and recognize that the best ideas may not always come from you.

4. Be a team player

Effective leaders foster a culture of success, which means encouraging innovative ideas and allowing others to shine. Interact with your colleagues and peers on a regular basis and be willing to share in the work load, especially if your working in the health care field (read: 10 soft skills needed in health care).

5. Build relationships

Being a great leader is more about helping others than determining how others can help you. Show genuine concern about the problems that people are facing and try to guide employees forward without being a dictator.

6. Show appreciation

When a colleague or peer does something truly helpful, make sure that they know how grateful you are. Never forget to say thank you and acknowledge when someone’s actions have contributed to your success.

7. Develop expertise

Of course, you cannot be an effective leader if you don’t have the proper education and expertise in your field. You should constantly be looking for opportunities to learn and improve your knowledge base. Never fake know-how: If you don’t know the answer to a problem, do the research to find the best solution.