What is Your Leadership Story?
The Florida State Capitol is a busy place, especially during the legislative session. On day 2, Class XI toured the House of Representatives Chamber and heard from a diverse group of leaders. Amongst the diversity, they all share a passion for the people they represent.
Their passion comes from a lifetime of experiences. We heard stories about apprehending fugitives, water policy, cybercrimes, opioid abuse, preserving green spaces, and e-Verify.
So, what is a leader?
- “A leader takes care of the people they are in charge of.” – PJ Joanos
- “A person who leads.” – Merriam-Webster
“Part of being a leader is knowing who you are, what you believe in and why you believe it,” says Senator Albritton. One of the most important parts of your leadership story is your WHY. Also, from Senator Albritton, “Be who you are, not someone different around different crowds.”
What are your fundamental beliefs, or core values, that make you who you are? Maybe you value integrity, honesty, resiliency, commitment, humility or passion. Establish your core values and write them down.
Once you know your WHY and your core values, you’re ready to write your leadership story. In her article titled, “7 Steps to Creating a Leadership Strategy,” Terri Klass recommends following these steps to create your personal leadership story:
- Think about your past.
- Identify critical turning points.
- Write it out.
- Decide how you will communicate it.
- Share it first with a safe person.
- Honor the feedback.
- Promote your story and have fun.
Being a leader is not always easy. How do you stay on top of your game? Mr. Joanos says you learn a lot about someone when they are under stress. As a trainer for the US Marshals Service, he recommends the following strategies for stress management:
- Practice tactical breathing techniques
- Implements a crisis intervention team – a/k/a “hug squad”
- Find something to live for other than your job
- Practice reflection in good and bad situations – you should always discuss what went well and what can be improved upon in the future
If you desire to lead or be a better leader, read Courage to Lead by Charlie Farrell. This short story about life and leadership may lead you to question whether you have the courage to lead.