Be the Leader You Want

Paper figures high-fiving each other in unity.

“Everyone has the choice to be the leader they wish they had.”

– Simon Sinek

Whether you are newly hired or have been at your job for many years, you have a choice. You can choose to be someone who leads, (no matter what your position). You can decide to be the embodiment of your ideal manager and give the gift of support and inspiration to benefit those around you. And, best of all, you do not need to be in a formal leadership position to do so.

Think back over jobs you have held, the organizations you’ve belonged to, or the places you’ve volunteered. Now, ask yourself …

Who were the ineffective or counterproductive ‘bosses’?

Where do you feel their leadership style fell short, and why?

What would have made that person someone you could look up to and learn from?

Who were the true leaders that stood out?

What made them connect with you and earn your respect?

How did they conduct themselves in times of abundance and scarcity?

Now, come back to 2022. We seem to be in a leadership crisis with division and a lack of leadership skills evident in many of our higher positions. People are struggling for a direction and there is a lot of talking but little real conversation. Yet alone compromise. The world seems adrift.

Fortunately, there are many examples in human history—and yes, even today—where we see true leaders step up and steer whole nations to a better place. However, you do not need to be an FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd US President) to make a difference. You only need the desire to serve others and a willingness to assess your current gifts and cultivate some new qualities.

What Makes an Effective Leader?

“Great leaders do not desire to lead but to serve.”

– Myles Monroe

There is a section on leadership in each chapter of my book, 5 Senses for Success: Strategies to Thrive in Any Arena. I emphasize this because of the importance a successful leader has on the success of everyone and everything around them.

While researching the various types of leadership, I found all manner of leader-attribute lists. For instance, an article by American Express listed seven common leadership styles. These are:

  1. Autocratic – command and control approach.
  2. Authoritative – follow me approach (also known as a visionary).
  3. Pacesetting – keep up approach.
  4. Democratic – how do you see it approach.
  5. Coaching – consider this approach.
  6. Affirmative – people come first approach.
  7. Laissez-Faire – least amount of oversight approach.

Other lists will have similarly named styles or additional qualities as their ‘top picks.’ The problem with lists like these is that they often suggest you fit into one (and only one) category. An effective leader has multiple leadership attributes that, as a whole, make them stand out and shine. There are job situations when any of the styles mentioned above could be useful. Limiting ourselves to nurture only one or two styles will limit our ability to connect with a diverse range of people and/or situations.

You Need Not Be Superhuman

“A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there.”

– David Gergen

Long gone should be the image of the ‘Mr. Potter-style’ leadership from It’s a Wonderful Life. No ivory tower, barking down orders from on high and shouldering the weight of the whole company’s success.

The best models of successful leaders today respect all individuals and their contributions and honor their unique perspectives and opinions. Leaders today must have emotional intelligence and relate on a human-to-human level.

If you are lacking in some of the qualities you want to have as a manager, you can work on them over time. Getting feedback from your staff and your supervisors will help you hone the styles you want. Asking for help also shows the team around you that you value their abilities and contributions.

Another way to ‘fill the gap’ is to put together a team possessing the qualities that you admire and that may not be as natural for you. Nurturing and learning from your staff, board members and other leaders will show that you respect their talents while making you a better leader. You will build trust within your organization and trust is a vital tool in the successful leader toolbox.

Where to start?

“Part of my leadership success, I am certain, stems from observation skills …looking for light, respecting all individuals and their contributions, and honoring unique perspectives and opinions.”

– Juli Geske Peer, 5 Senses for Success

I have found myself lacking in confidence in some of the leadership positions I have held throughout my career. There is no shame in admitting this. Whatever your dominant leadership style may be, there is always room to grow and increase your skills. In my book, I apply my 5 reimagined senses as key components for achieving personal success.

For example, using your full sense of observation with both rational thought and heartfelt empathy can make you a more successful leader by seeing the entire picture and finding common ground.

A leader who takes the time to observe their colleagues’ facial expressions and body positions can relate better in group dynamics and one-on-one. You can gauge if a message is being received through these non-verbal cues and adjust your approach to help others feel more at ease. This is especially powerful with all the change that is constantly happening due to the pandemic. With businesses trying to constantly adapt to stay viable it can be very stressful for staff. Observing non-verbal cues while reacting with empathy and understanding will build trust and acceptance.

Another way observation serves us in our leadership role is by observing another person’s perspective and beliefs without judgment. If we work to truly see and examine other points of view we open up space to add to our own values. We grow with the knowledge others bring to the table.

(Please see my book for more on applying the ‘modified 5 senses’ in your leadership journey).

Choose to Lead

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice. Not something to wish for, but to attain.”

– William Jennings Bryan

In these early weeks of 2022, I challenge you to begin to develop the leader in you. Make the first steps toward becoming the person you would like to have in charge. You might be the one who restores faith in leadership for one, or many! You could be the catalyst that reduces the distrust and helps move a group forward.

Here’s a bonus that comes with the leadership path – it works in all parts of your life! You can be a better parent, spouse, or friend when you make those leader attributes a part of your regular communication with those closest to you.

Think about what you have to offer the world and give It wholeheartedly. Here are just a few of the gifts I value and wish for you: Transparency, Cooperation, Recognition, Acceptance, Support, Clarity and so, so much more!

Wishing you a successful 2022,


#JuliGeskepeer, #BetheLeaderYouWant, #2022success, #successinanyarena, #successfulleaders, #newmindset, #empathy, #mindset, #successandgratitude, #successfulrelationships #juligeskepeerauthor, #emotionalhealing, #emotionalintelligence


A Book to Develop the Leader in YOU!

For more about engaging all the senses that can provide support for your journey to success, please take a moment to explore my book, 5 Senses for Success: Strategies to Thrive in Any Arena. I am very proud to share these approaches and truly achievable practices that were born out of my own life and career experiences and strategic research. Each of us has it within us to achieve success and create healthier relationships within ourselves and with others

Follow this link for more information.

Juli Geske Peer is a leadership, relationship, and accountability strategist whose professional credentials include two academic degrees, mediator training, train-the-trainer certification, two coaching certifications, numerous other learning and certification accomplishments, and now, author!

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