When my son was a small boy, he had misbehaved, and although I have no recall of what he did (about 23 years ago), I punished him by docking him from participating in basketball that evening. You can only imagine how upset a 6 year old could be. But I did what had to be done. As he freaked out and spilled a ton of tears, I remember as if it were yesterday, he screamed, “you’re not the boss of me”. It made me smile and it diffused the tension. Leaders make decisions and I, as his father took the lead and made him recognize accountability.

And now as a career coach working with a huge and very diverse client base, I talk about leadership all the time. Why it’s valued and how impactful it can be. Not just by leading a group, a team or a department, but utilizing SELF-LEADERSHIP as well. How you manage your career will determine how the process rolls out. You must take the lead.

A good leader provides quality GUIDANCE, a sense of DIRECTION, POSITIVE INFLUENCE and does so with compassion, empathy and a solid understanding of intent & objective. There will be times when a ‘heavy hand’ is the only alternative to find success. Leaders take charge. They control things. They drive CHANGE.  They identify problems and create solutions. A good leader communicates and they inspire.

Your career development is a process. There are many layers in the process. You can seek out advice, counsel, do research and learn, but you must manage things. Don’t just rely on the resources you have. Yes, you engage them, utilize them effectively and try to position yourself in the best possible way. But if you don’t take charge, you fail. This is your ride – Lead yourself to the finish line and when you cross it by finding a great job, you can sit back, reflect on your personal success and know that you are a LEADER.

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