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How do I best prepare myself to not only be an effective, professional, and successful worker but leader?

I'm currently unsure of what exactly I want to do in the future, but I have a heart for at-risk, underrepresented, vulnerable populations, preferably somewhere out of the country. This, however, is a rather broad umbrella topic and I hope to find that career for me through various opportunities and leadership roles. And I don't mean I want to be successfully financially, although that would be nice; success to means when you are happy with who you are, what you do, and bring happiness to people around you. I haven't quite figured out what I want to do but I'm hopeful! And in the meantime, I want to know how I can better foster my leadership style, how to maintain professionalism and how to be an effective leader and team player! #volunteering #volunteer #service #leader #veterans #homeless #outdoor #undecided


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Lisa’s Answer

This is a great question! These skills are important to develop for all professionals, but especially as a woman. Work on learning to be assertive, clear and concise. Practice good listening skills. Think of different ways you would approach and solve a problem. When there is a person that you think is a great leader, carefully observe how that person acts and responds in different situations. Ask yourself why you think this person is a good leader. When the person does something you admire, really think about what actions that person took or how that person responded and try to use that same approach when you get in a similar situation.

Lisa recommends the following next steps:

Volunteer with an organization that will give you leadership opportunities. Ask to be in charge of a project or program. Ask for guidance when needed and feedback throughout. Act upon reasonable advise you are given.
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John’s Answer

You have chosen a noble path but noble and easy do not often go hand in hand. If you want to learn how to do something well learn to work, listen, repeat and build off of what you have learned. Get a mentor to review what you have done, to help check you work and your moral compass and help guide you. Learn how to grow in all aspects of your life and do it while respecting people who may not respect themselves.

The best leaders I have had were also teachers and mentors. They were willing to allow me to ask question but allowed me to make mistakes because they knew I would learn more from them then if they gave me the answers. After time I needed new mentors and new responsibilities to grow into. Seek out the tough assignments, the worst jobs and learn how to solve problems. And make friends. Your peers can help you and you will need help as all leaders do.

Good luck! You will need that too!

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Mike’s Answer

This is a great question and just asking it shows you're on the right path. As in many different roles in life, whether it's a favorite teacher, coach or boss, the best way to lead is by example. Your work ethic and attention to detail will be noticed...don't just do it to be noticed...make it your routine. Go the extra mile - show up early, stay late, volunteer for some of the less desirable tasks. Those things are noticed by leaders and teammates and respected. The other thing that I've always respected about my leaders and what I try to practice now is being available, being honest (even if it isn't easy) and having your teammates' backs. Sometimes the best answer is "I don't know", but you will always get back to your team with an answer. This is my best advice - good luck!

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Ken’s Answer

Hi Risa!


You asked a very important question. Here is some helpful information:


http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Good-Employee
https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-ways-to-become-your-boss-dream-employee
http://www.careerealism.com/great-employee-qualities/


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