Attributes of Influential Leaders

 Leadership, defined as the process of guiding a group of people to accomplish a shared goal, is an art. Effective leaders skillfully empower and motivate their team to achieve success. Here are 5 attributes that keen, influential leaders possess:

Humility

 It is very important for a leader to be humble and to not see themselves as better than others. With this quality, influential leaders take the time to learn and benefit from others. They can recognize the strengths of others and channel it for the greater good of the entire team. As well, humility allows great leaders to acknowledge their own faults and weaknesses. In doing so, a good leader is able to recognize opportunities for growth and improvement. Humility allows leaders to succeed because they are less likely to overshadow members of their team and they create a productive and collaborative work environment where everyone feels heard and appreciated.

 Confidence

 Another important trait in a leader is confidence. An effective leader is confident in both themselves and their team. A leader who wholeheartedly believes in themselves and their team is one that generates a motivational environment for everyone to thrive and prosper. Confidence in a leader is reflected through passion and will encourage others to feel the same way. A confident leader will accomplish their tasks well. A leader who has confidence in their team indirectly conveys to them a sense of trust and respect.

 Authenticity

 Down-to-earth leaders are often more well-respected by their peers and team. By being genuine and authentic, a leader shows that what they say, how they feel, what they believe in, and what they do are all aligned. This allows the leader to share a real and true objective with their team. A leader who is genuine with their objectives and goals also instills a sense of confidence in their team. In being authentic and true to one’s self, a leader also gains credibility.

 Courage

 Courage is also a very valuable quality in an influential leader. A great leader cannot be afraid to take informed, calculated risks. Big risks may at times produce a bigger payoff. By being a courageous leader, one is able to discover new opportunities, establish new partnerships, and invest in new ideas. Despite some risks ending in failure, being courageous also instills resilience in a leader. A courageous leader motivates their entire team to be just as courageous and be willing to share their ideas, no matter how far-fetched they may seem.

 Forgiveness

 Lastly, forgiveness is a central attribute that makes an influential leader successful. It is important for leaders to remember that they and their team are only human, which means that mistakes will be made. The path to completing a project or reaching an objective is a journey, one that could include many bumps along the way. A leader should be able to forgive others, as well as themselves. By acknowledging mistakes and channeling them to be motivators for improvement, a leader is able to create a nurturing and forward-thinking environment. A forgiving leader allows mistakes to be lessons for the future, not barriers to progress. Forgiveness also allows for the leader to strengthen their bond with their team, which will inevitably serve to benefit everyone.

 It takes time and effort to be a great and influential leader, however by embodying these five attributes, one will be better equipped for success! 

3 Great Opportunities to Network and Learn More About Business

Business is a subject that sparks an interest in many young people, especially high school students looking for careers to pursue in post-secondary. But the term, business, can be confusing because many people do not know about the several fields it involves. 

If you’re wondering how you can learn about these fields? Or how to know which one is the best fit for you? Make sure to pay close attention to the following resources. 

In Canada, a number of companies offer programs for high school students to get involved in their communities, network with professionals and use their creativity to create new products and services. Here are 3 of the biggest organization programs available for you:

#1. CPA Ontario’s HAP (High School Ambassador Program)

This free program offered by the Chartered Professional Accountants organization allows students with an interest in accounting to learn about the CPA designation and participate in their famous No Limits conference. Students from different areas in the country can network with CPAs and partake in their InstaChallenge, CPA Showcase or their Write to Ignite essay competition to win money prizes.

#2. DECA Program

DECA competitions are designed by this non-for-profit organization to prepare future leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. They help students implement class content by finding solutions to real life business cases that companies face on a daily basis. Their competitions also come in different levels, regionals, provincials, nationals and the ICDC (International Career Development Conference). 

Their programs are specifically designed for 2 different groups: high school students and post-secondary students. Note that their competitions are not free, but there are many opportunities for you to learn new content, skills, win scholarships, network with professionals and meet individuals from the US, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico and Germany. 

#3. Junior Achievement Canada 

This global non-for-profit organization offers free programs which focus on teaching both elementary and high school students about business. Some of their services include webinar series and online courses about personal finance, the trades and how to start your own business. 

On the other hand, they also offer hands-on learning programs. These include online competitions exclusively made for high school students all over Canada with a potential to win scholarships. For example: the Investment Strategies Program or the JA Titan Challenge. Last but not least, valuable skills can be gained by joining the JA Company Program: an 18 week after school entrepreneurship program where students join groups to start and run their own business with guidance from professionals. 

These are only 3 of the many programs you can be a part of. For more information make sure to visit their websites and find out if your school has a DECA club or partnerships with these organizations. Talk to your teachers, get engaged, and if your school doesn’t have any, introduce them yourself. Remember that by taking this first step you not only gain skills and knowledge yourself but you can also help other students experience such opportunities as well.