What Every Leader Needs

What Every Leader Needs

I enjoyed people-watching at last week’s Leadership Link Conference.

One common thread united all the people attending the conference: their interest in leadership.

People at the conference fit a few categories. Some were long-time leaders. They’ve been leading for years, in their business, industry, military, law enforcement, or academic setting. Some were developing leaders, people who are making a difference where they are, right now. Others were aspiring leaders, people with an interest and drive to lead others. They’re on their way.

I enjoyed watching the dynamic exchanges between the various groups, both the apt attention that developing and emerging leaders gave to the seasoned ones and the helpful encouragement all three groups freely shared.

From those observations, one lesson emerged. Every leader needs a champion.

At our leadership conference, I saw Dr. Charles Polk, MSU’s president, encourage and support Dr. William White, the dean of our School of Leadership and Professional Development.

I saw lead faculty members fortifying other faculty members, giving them the opportunity to present on panels and publicly acknowledging their contributions with words of praise.

In a truly touching moment, I saw one lead faculty member commit to mentoring a doctoral student who, in turn, pledged to mentor another younger student.

I saw faculty members promoting their students, highlighting their hidden talents and applauding their research projects.

I saw students supporting other students, bolstering their confidence in their ability to persevere in their doctoral studies.

Every leader needs a champion.

We all need someone to believe in us, to tell us what we do well, to challenge our assumptions, to appreciate our contributions, and to fight for our cause.

When we have those strong supports in place, we gain the courage and energy we need to spend ourselves in being a champion for others.

Join the conversation!

Who is your champion?

How are you involved in being a champion for others?

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission. 

Filed As:  support, champions

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Oh so true! Every leader needs a champion and great leaders develop honest champions who are the inquisitive sounding boards.
    Loved your post. I will RT on Twitter.
    Here is a post to help expand the idea of developing honest sounding boards”
    All the best,
    Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

  • Mentoring is so central to learning to lead. It creates a positive forward thrust and lifelong inspiration! I know I am forever thankful to my mentors: Jorge, Will, Carlos… they touched my life and helped me discover what leadership is all about! I also appreciate you, Becky, for your tireless enthusiasm and generous sharing in this blog. You definitely make a difference to me and so many other readers! Thanks.

  • Inspiring Post! This is very true that we always look up to champions in our interests be it business, sports, life. A champion or a leader whom we follow and respect for their achievements and look forward and strive hard to become like one of them. They are the motivation to our aspirations and they always boosts us with positive encouragement.

  • Great post…the most intriguing aspect of the conference for me was the diversity in leadership that I was surrounded by and everyone was very encouraging to others. I consider myself the developing leader. I truly appreciated the openness of all the leaders and their willingness to plant seeds in the upcoming leaders.

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