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Find Your Path to Leadership

For some, becoming a leader feels natural, but for most of us, it takes hard work. In your online MBA program at Florida International University, you will take courses that prepare you to fulfill the duties of a leader. At work, you will have the opportunity to use what you learn to make your way to a leadership position.

Characteristics of a Good Leader

Good leaders share several traits. Each of them includes a skill you can learn and improve upon. A good leader is someone who does the following:

  • Listens to what others have to say.
  • Keeps an open mind.
  • Accepts help when it is needed.
  • Delegates tasks when appropriate.
  • Works hard, meets deadlines and keeps promises.
  • Earns the respect of coworkers.
  • Gives credit to others when it’s due.
  • Express themselves clearly.
  • Takes setbacks in stride.
  • Inspires others.

Learning to be a Leader

It can take time and effort to become a great leader. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Observe the leaders around you. What actions make them effective? Why do others follow their lead?
  • Take a class that focuses on leadership skills, and compare what you learn to what you see at work.
  • Read books by business leaders. See what they have to say about leading a team or getting others to follow their vision.
  • Flex your leadership muscles outside of work. Volunteer to lead a team at a local charity or organization. The things you learn from this experience will build confidence and leadership skills.
  • Find a mentor you respect. Take the time to listen to what that person has to say about the ways they lead others.

Being a Leader at Work

Some companies identify future leaders and groom them for leadership positions. If you work at such a company, be sure you prove yourself as a reliable worker and team member before looking for opportunities to show your leadership potential. If you have done this and feel you are not being recognized as a future leader, speak to your manager and suggest a way you could lead a group project. If you have been identified as a future leader, be sure to let your work speak for yourself. Develop and maintain a reputation for integrity and hard work.

If your company does not identify and groom leaders, establish yourself as a reliable team player before speaking up. Approach your manager and ask if you can lead a team on a specific project. Pick something that is in your comfort area. Pick something small but important to the company. Work with your team to build a solid plan with milestones, deliverables and feedback loops. Present your plan as a team. Then delegate the work to those who are suited to the tasks. The finished product will be your entrée into leadership. It will show that you have what it takes to become a leader. Once you have started and done well, other leadership opportunities are sure to open for you.

Learn more about the FIU online MBA program.


Aspire Collaborative Services: How Top Leaders Find Their Next Developmental Goals

Forbes: You’re Never Too Young to Be a Leader

Entrepreneur: 50 Rules for Being a Great Leader

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