Leadership is Everyone’s Business

By Aileena Minhas

Junior League of Edmonton is a huge advocate of training, training women to become the best leaders they can be. To be confident, to be engaged and do everything they do with purpose.

Before joining the Junior League, I started a Leadership Program where I learned the five leadership practices that James Kouzes & Barry Posner developed, better known in their book title: The Leadership Challenge. Being with the Junior League now for just over half a year, I have been able to utilize these practices and have seen others practice them as well.

I’m sure that for many of us, being a leader can be a scary thing and it doesn’t always come easy. You need to think about the end business goals, while also ensuring that your teammates are engaged and supported to allow for a shared vision.
If you don’t know where to get started, I promise practicing these five leadership practices will work wonders, which are briefly described below.

  1. Model the Way – Clarify your own values by finding your voice. What really matters to you and does this also matter to the people around you? Set an example, live those shared values and teach others to model the values too. The power is always in your hands, now it just depends on what you will do with it.
  2. Inspire a Shared Vision – Good leaders are able to envision a future globally, they are able to imagine the possibilities. Once you have concrete goals, find a common purpose between all parties and get others to buy into that common purpose. This common purpose will help you enlist others as you animate this vision for them. This is where you engage and allow the creative juices to flow.
  3. Challenge the Process – Nothing was ever achieved or improved by staying status quo. Search for opportunities and seize those opportunities. Experiment and take risks while celebrating the small wins and learning from the experiences.
  4. Enable Others to Act – You can enable others to act in several different ways. One that I find very important is by providing them with the resources and tools that they need to succeed with. Create a climate of trust and facilitate relationships, in return this will foster collaboration and encourage engagement and further development. By providing individuals with the resources, tools and the ability to trust, this will further enhance self-determination and develop competences and confidence.
  5. Encourage The Heart – When you expect the best and recognize individual contributions, you will get the best. Remember to personalize the recognition that you are providing, as it will be received and appreciated much more. Encourage others to recognize each other and create a culture of community. Celebrate the values and victories by getting personally involved.

You might not think it right now, but leadership is everyone’s business. Within the Junior League of Edmonton, you will exhibit these leadership practices from the day you start, to the day you challenge yourself to become a part of the board, to the day you become a sustainer. Remember to practice these skills, to reflect on these five leadership practices and remain humble and human.