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Business leaders need to consider all perspectives

Minority chamber report

POSTED: December 30, 2017 6:30 a.m.
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Amy Freeman is a member of the Liberty County Minority Chamber of Commerce.

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A leader is someone who guides others daily, challenges others when needed, inspires others and displays the characteristics of a leader. The personal qualifications of leadership as stated by John C. Maxwell are character, perspective, courage and favor.

Throughout my career, I scrutinized every boss I had, trying to define what a leader looked like. It wasn’t until my mid 20s that I realized there isn’t a perfect leader, but I still learned from those in leadership roles. I didn’t just take the good situations into perspective; I took bad situations as well. What I have learned is to take a positive experience from a leader and execute it the same way or modify the experience to make it my own, but ensure the effectiveness and results are the same. While observing negative experiences, I always think of how I would have handled the situation differently for everyone to see a different perspective they may not have seen before.

As a human resource leader, I believe that when situations arise, there is a learning opportunity. To be an effective leader, you should look at a situation from all perspectives and re-evaluate the situation. Leaders should strive to lead leaders. If you are always leading followers, you aren’t challenging yourself. And if you lead followers, they will never grow, never be able to accomplish anything for themselves.

I have trained numerous people, and I have always wanted better for others, even if that means they get ahead of me. I’m okay with that, as long as what I have trained or taught them was effective, and they were able to learn.

The last job I had as a human resources manager, my boss did not have any leadership nor management skills, even though she was the owner and chief executive officer. She was a micro-manager, very negative and did not want anyone to get ahead of her. When someone would challenge her, she would retaliate. It frustrated me, and I tried everything I could to change the dynamic of the company, but staff were just "stuck in their ways."

After much thought, I decided to leave the company and pursue my dream of becoming a business owner. I had already started on my business plan. My goal at first was to keep my 9-5 and conduct my business on the side, but God had other plans.

Whether you are working for a company or have your own business, display the characteristics of a great leader and act on it. Nothing is worse than saying you’re a leader, but not acting like one.

Not everyone labeled supervisor, manager or boss is a leader. If their actions and characteristics do not show it, then they are not a real leader.

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