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Knobull's President Offers Tips To Inspire Leadership Success
I began playing competitive sports at age 13 and became an avid runner, which taught me a lot of life lessons that translate to being a leader today. I still draw a lot of parallels from my athletic experiences to my leadership style today.
Before beginning my senior year of high school, I participated in music programs and was lucky enough to travel to several U.S. locations, affording me an experience assimilating into a new culture and meeting lifelong friends. It was time to embrace and adapt again to the next experience my life had in store for me. In a sense, the Navy was really an extension of my time as a student, worker, musician and athlete.
The advice here isn't that you need to travel to several countries or join the military to become a leader, but instead seek inspiration from your surroundings — whether cultural, societal or geographical. Also, leadership skills are valuable in most career paths which may not include being a manager. View your time in new places or having new experiences as an opportunity to grow and learn, and embrace your surroundings as a means to draw meaningful skills that will likely prove to be invaluable someday.
When I first started my career several decades ago, I was an entry-level employee with no direct industry experience. I was very eager to enter my first job but quickly learned that I was pretty low on the totem pole.
Focus on your motivation as a leader is essential — for me, it was the harmony of creativity and responsibility, and for others, it could be a whole host of things. One of the biggest challenges of being a leader at any level is sitting in the discomfort of a new experience.
After achieving a mid level management role, I learned about a tech company based in the Boston area that was developing industrial automation solutions. I didn't have any intention of leaving my current job, but something in my past experience was telling me to pursue this new leadership role.
Whether it's battling the uncertainties of working for a startup or working through challenges that a more established, large corporation may present, you can't only refer back to past leaders or situations as a blueprint for success.
Bentley concluded, "Being a successful leader looks different for everyone. What's important is tapping into your life experiences and your strengths to develop a leadership style that suits you, and build a team that compliments your strengths by expanding capabilities beyond your areas of expertise."
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