During the last 30 years, I have seen much written and taught on leadership. I attended leadership courses and read many books that provided step-by-step instruction. I became overwhelmed with all the “right” ways to become a leader. I did realize that leadership is a skill and while many natural leaders can come to mind, the rest of us must learn on our own.
So, where do you start? Every organization is interested in leadership and would like its employees to exhibit those skills. However, we all know there are varying levels of investment by those same organizations. In my first career, as a law-enforcement officer in California, the state organization for peace officer standards and training provided several classes, including an intense nine-month leadership course for sergeants. This was my first formal course on leadership and the course reviewed many different types of books and films on the subject.
Dictionary.com defines leadership as “The action of leading a specific group or organization.” What is the action of leading? Each piece of literature or film contained their version(s) of the action of leadership. Finding a starting point is difficult using any of these recommended actions. However, I discovered a more natural way.
As I studied leadership theories and styles, I saw two common themes: the first in the goal of leadership—the creation of active organizations utilizing teams. The second is caring for the people in these teams. Include these themes and you will be well on your way to becoming an effective leader.
Perry Eggleston, CAPP, DPA, is executive director for transportation at University of California Davis. He will present on this topic during the 2020 IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, June 1-2, wherever you are. Click here for details and to register.