Leadership is defined as “the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group” (www.dictionary.com). At the Fashion Group International 2013 Regional Directors’ Conference “Leadership Now: Evolve, Execute, Engage”, Laurie Beja Miller broke down the topic in her presentation “Leadership: 10 Things I Wish I Would Have Learned Sooner.” 

Miller is the Executive Vice President, Customer Experience at JCP Inc. who possesses 20+ years of experience with top brands including Nike, Apple, Williams Sonoma, and Disney.  She has an interesting perspective on leadership and management stating that leadership is being able to stand up and do the right thing, where management is more about taking care of business – there’s a difference between being a good leader and being a good manager.

Can you engage others through your leadership?

  1. Know your gifts. Determine what your gifts are and find others that are good at the things you are not.
  2. Be Authentic. People want to know you – leadership is nothing more than being authentic.
  3. Character counts. Don’t lie. Just be yourself and own it.
  4. Show you care.
  5. Listen and ask questions. Talk less, listen more, and know who you are working with.
  6. Find what you love. Discover your passion, focus on hard work and enthusiasm.
  7. Do not be afraid. Get out of your head and lean in.
  8. Be a teacher. Help others better understand their role on the team.
  9. People are watching. Every day is a chance to make an impact. Lead by example. Explain what type of leader you want to be.
  10. Ask for a redo. You can always ask to try again.

“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi

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