I have always enjoyed newspapers. Especially the op-eds.
It started when I was a freshman at Moon Area High School in Pittsburgh, PA. I was in a marketing club called DECA (originally standing for the Distributive Education Clubs of America, shortened to ‘a marketing association’). And I wanted to be Chapter President.
So I read about leaders. The early 2000’s, newspapers were full of dismay about business leadership. The internet bubble was bursting, and corruption was reigning supreme. It was not the ideal time to look to the newspapers for inspiration.
It was until a professor from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business wrote two op-eds in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about being a grounded business leader. The one that struck me was three L’s: Life, Love, and Legacy. I even presented that topic (with credit given to the professor) at a regional leadership conference while I was at Elon University. Here is my take on the 3Ls.
You will be in trouble if you only have your business in your life. Your life has to be balanced with work, play and an exhilarating miscellaneous. It’s true, that a leader should instill their morals in their professional and personal life, but pay attention to overlap. A good leader must realize that there is more in life than business.
Passion and enthusiasm is key. If you do not love not you are doing, your chances of being an effective leader will dwindle. You can be a great leader, true, but nothing close to your potential. Humans have that innate sense of feeling if someone is truly enjoying what they’re doing. We are naturally attracted to charisma and passion.
Also, a good leader shows love towards their team. Nothing lovey dovey, obviously. Showing appreciation, giving encouragement, and providing constructive criticism is crucial. A solid leader is both the cheerleader and the disciplinarian.
How do you measure a leader? There are many ways, but one measure is to watch how successful their team is once the leader has left. A good leader sets other people up for success. To carry on an atmosphere, the leader be take time to share their philosophy. A good leader shares their best practices, as well as their obstacles, to the next generation of minds so they can hit the ground running.
There it is. Follow the Three Ls of Leadership, you you’re on your way.