Inspiring Generational Industry Leadership
As an aspiring professional in an industry, you most likely joined your Industry Association to reap the professional benefits associated with membership. However, perhaps you might benefit from thinking about how you can serve others to reach your own professional goals? Although this may seem like an oxymoron, many modern workplaces are demanding future leaders to not only be high performers but also to display qualities of empathy, humility, self-sacrifice, and self-awareness in their leadership style.
Leadership literature describes this balanced approach to leading others as Servant leadership. Which is defined by its founder, Robert K. Greenleaf and the Centre of Servant Leadership, as a person who “focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible”.
Adopting a servant leaders mind set is only the beginning when it comes to building a robust professional pedigree, pragmatic habits also need to be formed. In the article titled “12 Habits of Successful Young Leaders, by Forbes” it is suggested that future leaders should couple servant leadership with other practical habits, such as:
- Building a network of successful people
- Constantly educating yourself to master your business
- Setting long term goals
- Being humble and open to change.
Being a member of an Industry body provides great opportunities to forge these habits by offering their pro bono services in contribution to the growth and development of the industry. Aspiring leaders may benefit by offering their time and skill by joining our industry taskforces, participating in special interest groups, project teams, presenting tech talks or contributing to e-books. While many do desire to take on such challenges, very often people fear that they will fail or be judged unfairly and hence do not choose to do so. On the contrary, by taking on discrete projects of work, future leaders can grade their exposure and build confidence slowly. Most importantly, such experiences contribute to building a character that others will aspire towards and follow.