Becoming a Better Leader

Have you ever thought about the steps you can take to improve your knowledge and expertise in order to become a better leader within your company, within your industry, or within your community?

The online business space is pretty crowded these days, and one of the major ways you can stand out from the rest of the businesses in your industry is to be viewed as a leader. 

What being a leader means

Well, according to Google a “leader” is a person who leads or commands a group, organization or country.

I’ll take that, and add a bit to it:

A leader is someone who has a certain amount of expertise in whatever industry or niche they are in, and they are willing – and do – share their insights with those around them through writing, speaking and taking action.

They are good at not only sharing their lessons learned, expertise and insights, but also at teaching others how to apply that so they don’t make the same mistakes. A leader is trusted, holds authority and is viewed as a credible source by those who follow.

They deliver consistent value with integrity and passion, they learn to take responsibility for their actions, and they’re always willing to go the extra mile.

 

Sounds like a pretty good gig, right?

But how exactly do you go about becoming a better leader? Well, it takes time, patience, hard work and a lot of dedication.

7 steps to becoming a better leader

1. Follow leaders who you look up to

This is sort of like writers following the writers they admire. If you’re following true leaders, then you’ll have a lot to learn from them in order to become a better leader yourself.

Take Action: Pick out 2, 3 or even 4 leaders who you admire – either for their speaking abilities, their expertise in a particular industry or niche, their ability to teach others who can learn from their mistakes – and read their articles, follow their speaking engagements and check out their presence on social media and within online communities. You’ll soon find that leaders have an effective way of getting out there and being seen and heard.

2. Practice the things that make you uncomfortable

A lot of you who want to become better leaders probably know exactly what it takes to get there, but the reason you’re not a better leader right now is that you’re scared of those things.

These things might include becoming a better speaker, building stronger relationships, taking yourself out of your comfort zone for travel and other engagements… Guess what? All of these things will help you become a better leader.

Take Action: Start practicing those things that make you uncomfortable with a mentor or friend. Before you know it, you’ll not only become better at doing these things, you might actually grow to like them!

Anything that makes you uncomfortable WILL make you stronger after you’ve achieved it.

3. Tell yourself every day that you’re a leader (and believe it!)

You love staying on the negative side of things, right? You’re not good enough at this, or strong enough at that. It’s comforting to know these things because it means you can’t fail. How can you fail at something you’re not even good at in the first place?

If you already know you can’t do it, then it won’t be a surprise when you don’t.

To become a leader, you have to believe that you are a leader, and then start ACTING like one.

Take Action: Look at yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself every day that you are a leader.

4. Learn something new about your expertise, industry or niche every day

I don’t care what expertise you have, or what industry or niche you’re in; these days, things are changing by the minute.

In order to maintain your leadership level and your expertise – your ability to teach people things that will keep them from making the same mistakes you did – you need to stay on top of the changes that are happening around you.

Take Action: Do keyword searches for words and phrases that are trending in your business world. Then, find relevant articles, writers and publications who keep up with the latest and greatest and add them to your Feedly, (or whatever platform  you use to track your favorite feeds). This way, you’ll be able to go to a single source for updates relevant to your industry or niche. 

5. Gather resources you use and that you would recommend to others

If you’re being looked at as an authority figure by others, then you better believe you’re the one those people will be looking to for resources and advice. This is why it’s important to have a collection of resources that you not only have used and believe in yourself, but that you also feel strongly about recommending to others.

Take Action: Every time you use a new resource or tool, take notes on your experience with it. Once you have an ongoing list of resources, you can start to build out a resources page on your site to share with your followers.

Note: Your credibility depends on these recommendations, so choose wisely.

6. Read

In addition to following leaders who you look up to, and learning something new about your expertise, industry or niche every day, it’s also important to read, read, read!

Take Action: Make a list of the top 5 business books you want to read, and set a date that you want to have them finished by. Then, hold yourself accountable to that date.

7. Build and grow your relationships

Building and growing your relationships will no doubt, 100% help you become a better leader. The more connected you are, the more people you have to bounce ideas off from and share feedback with, the better off you’ll be.

I can’t think of a single leader who “went at it alone”. You need support and motivation, those who will hold you accountable and who will act as a sounding board for feedback and recommendations.

Take Action: Write down 10 names of people who you feel that – either by building or growing upon your relationship – both of you would benefit. Then, reach out to those people and connect. If they’re in your geographical area, then try to set a time to meet for coffee. If they aren’t in your geographical area, then send them a note and ask how things are going with their business, and whether or not there is anything you can do to help. You can also see if these people are planning to attend any upcoming conferences or speeches, and try to connect with them in person if you’ll be in the same place at the same time.

What becoming a better leader means

Becoming a better leader means growing your expertise in whatever industry or niche you’re in; being willing – and able – to share your insights with those around you; being good at not only sharing your expertise and insights, but also at teaching others how to apply them so they don’t make the same mistakes; and being someone who your followers can trust and view as an authority figure.

It also means big potential for your business.

Deliver value with integrity and passion, and your fans and followers will always be there.

Learn to take responsibility for your actions, and use your failures and missteps as learning experiences. You’ll be amazed by the lessons you can carry with your for years to come, and how those lessons can truly help others.

Make helping others achieve their goals through sharing the lessons learned, skills and knowledge you already have BIGGER than your own fears.

When the going get’s tough, keep on going.

It’s never crowded along the extra mile. – Wayne Dyer

How To Be A Fashion Buyer In Memphis

Many people give little thought to the fashion selections offered in stores. However, the items available for you to purchase do not appear without great skill and research. Fashion buyers discover the latest trends and stock retail stores with items that are projected to bring in the most revenue and sales. Retail stores make large profits from the percentage of mark-up they charge customers over wholesale prices. In addition, the fashion buyers that work for them to stock their inventory can earn as much $100,000 annually. Studying to be a fashion buyer could result in a comfortable living for you if you have a natural sense of fashion and understand the needs of the consumer.

1
Gain as much knowledge as possible about the fashion industry. Purchase fashion magazines and research the various trends.

Make yourself familiar with the fashion market.

Become acquainted with the top fashion retailers and investigate their requirements and desires for their fashion buyers.

2
Begin your education by taking college courses relating to fashion and merchandise. Look for universities that offer courses in fashion merchandising or other fashion related fields.

Enroll in the college of your choice and work toward your degree.

3
Complete your coursework and graduate from the higher institution with a bachelor’s degree. Gaining a bachelor’s degree before applying to a fashion art school is required at some of the most prestigious colleges and helps gain entrance in others. However, gaining a bachelor’s degree first is not a requirement for all of the further education programs.

4
Search for an opportunity to gain more experience in fashion. Enroll in a fashion merchandising art school. Gain entrance into the highest ranked fashion school possible for the best opportunity at gaining a job later.

Check with companies that may offer an executive training program. Some companies have their own fashion merchandising programs. These programs are typically run by prominent retailers.

5
Apply for a job as an intern or assistant fashion buyer for retailers, department stores and independently owned fashion stores. Very few people become major fashion buyers without first gaining experience working under other experienced buyers in the fashion industry.

Work for a few years as an intern or assistant and learn skills to help you succeed in the career.

6
Become a fashion buyer and buy wholesale items for retail stores. You typically can take on the role as a full-time professional fashion buyer after 3-to-5 years of working with an experienced buyer.

The First Black Astronaut – Guion Bluford

Guion Bluford. Guion Stewart Bluford, Jr. (born November 22, 1942), is an engineer, NASA astronaut, and the first African American in space. Before becoming an astronaut, he was a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. He participated in four Space Shuttle flights between 1983 and 1992.

Guion Bluford.jpg

Early years

Bluford was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Overbrook High School. He received a B.S. degree inAerospace Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 1964, an M.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in 1974, a Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Laser Physics, again from AFIT, in 1978, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Houston–Clear Lake in 1987.[2] He married Linda Tull in 1964 and has two sons, Guion III and James.[3]

Career

Bluford attended pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, and received his pilot wings in January 1966. He then went to F-4C combat crew training in Arizona and Florida and was assigned to the 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. He flew 144combat missions, 65 of which were over North Vietnam.

In July 1967, Bluford was assigned to the 3630th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, as a T-38A instructor pilot. He served as a standardization/evaluation officer and as an assistant flight commander. In early 1971, he attended Squadron Officer School and returned as an executive support officer to the Deputy Commander of Operations and as School Secretary for the Wing.

In August 1972, Bluford entered the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology residency school at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Upon graduating in 1974 with his master’s degree,[4] he was assigned to the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a staff development engineer. He served as deputy for advanced concepts for the Aeromechanics Division and as branch chief of the Aerodynamics and Airframe Branch in the Laboratory. He has written and presented several scientific papers in the area of computational fluid dynamics. He has logged over 5,200 hours of jet flight time in the T-33, T-37, T-38, F-4C, U-2/TR-1, and F-5A/B aircraft, including 1,300 hours as a T-38 instructor pilot. He also has an FAA commercial pilot license.

NASA

Astronaut candidates Ron McNair, Guy Bluford, and Fred Gregory wearing Apollo spacesuits, May 1978

Bluford was chosen to become a NASA astronaut in August 1979[2] out of thousands of possible candidates. His technical assignments have included working with Space Station operations, the Remote Manipulator System (RMS), Spacelab systems and experiments, Space Shuttle systems, payload safety issues and verifying flight software in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) and in the Flight Systems Laboratory (FSL). Bluford was a mission specialist on STS-8, STS-61-A, STS-39, and STS-53.[4]

Bluford’s first mission was STS-8, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on August 30, 1983. This was the third flight for the Orbiter Challenger and the first mission with a night launch and night landing. During the mission, the STS-8 crew deployed the Indian National Satellite (INSAT-1B); operated the Canadian-built RMS with the Payload Flight Test Article (PFTA); operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES) with live cell samples; conducted medical measurements to understand biophysiological effects of space flight; and activated four “Getaway Special” canisters. STS-8 completed 98 orbits of the Earth in 145 hours before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 5, 1983.

Bluford on STS-8 in 1983

Bluford then served on the crew of STS-61-A, the German D-1 Spacelab mission, which launched from Kennedy Space Center on October 30, 1985. This mission was the first to carry eight crew members, the largest crew to fly in space and included three European payload specialists. This was the first dedicated Spacelab mission under the direction of the German Aerospace Research Establishment (DFVLR) and the first U.S. mission in which payload control was transferred to a foreign country (German Space Operations Center, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany). During the mission, the Global Low Orbiting Message Relay Satellite (GLOMR) was deployed from a “Getaway Special” (GAS) container, and 76 experiments were performed in Spacelab in such fields as fluid physics, materials processing, life sciences, and navigation. After completing 111 orbits of the Earth in 169 hours, Challenger landed at Edwards Air Force Base on November 6, 1985.

Bluford also served on the crew of STS-39, which launched from Kennedy Space Center on April 28, 1991, aboard the Orbiter Discovery. The crew gathered aurora, Earth-limb,celestial, and Shuttle environment data with the AFP-675 payload. This payload consisted of the Cryogenic Infrared Radiance Instrumentation for Shuttle (CIRRIS-1A) experiment, Far Ultraviolet Camera experiment (FAR UV), the Uniformly Redundant Array (URA), the Quadrupole Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (QINMS), and the Horizon Ultraviolet Program (HUP) experiment. The crew also deployed and retrieved the SPAS-II which carried the Infrared Background Signature Survey (IBSS) experiment. The crew also operated the Space Test Payload-1 (STP-1) and deployed a classified payload from the Multi-Purpose Experiment Canister (MPEC). After completing 134 orbits of the Earth and 199 hours in space, Discovery landed at the Kennedy Space Center on May 6, 1991.

Bluford’s last mission was STS-53, which launched from Kennedy Space Center on December 2, 1992. The crew of five deployed the classified Department of Defense payload DOD-1 and then performed several Military-Man-in-Space and NASA experiments. After completing 115 orbits of the Earth in 175 hours, Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base on December 9, 1992.

With the completion of his fourth flight, Bluford has logged over 688 hours in space.

Bluford, an Eagle Scout, was designated as the emissary to return the Challenger flag to Boy Scout Troop 514 of Monument, Colorado in December, 1986. On December 18 of that year, he presented the flag to the troop in a special ceremony at Falcon Air Force Base.

After NASA career

Bluford left NASA in July 1993 to take the post of Vice President/General Manager, Engineering Services Division of NYMA, Greenbelt, Maryland. In May 1997, he became Vice President of the Aerospace Sector of Federal Data Corporation and in October, 2000, became the Vice President of Microgravity R&D and Operations for the Northrop GrummanCorporation. He retired from Northrop Grumman in September, 2002 to become the President of Aerospace Technology, an engineering consulting organization in Cleveland, Ohio.

Bluford was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1997,[4] and inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2010.[5]

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Bluford on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.[6] In 2006, Bluford was recognized as a distinguished alumnus of Penn State by being selected as the Grand Marshal for his alma mater’s Homecoming celebration.[7]

Awards and decorations

USAF Command Pilot Astronaut Wings (1983)

He also received honorary doctorate degrees from Florida A&M University, Texas Southern University, Virginia State University, Morgan State University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Tuskegee Institute, Bowie State College, Thomas Jefferson University, Chicago State University, Georgian Court University, Drexel University, Kent State University,Central State University and the University of the Sciences.

See also[edit]

References

  1. Jump up^ Launius, Roger D. (2004). Frontiers of Space Exploration. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 245. ISBN 9780313325243.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b NASA, Biographical Data, Guion S. Bluford, Jr. (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) NASA Astronaut (former), (accessed 1 May 2013)
  3. Jump up^ “Guy Bluford: Biography from Answers.com”.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Guion S. Bluford, Jr. Biography from Who2.com”.
  5. Jump up^ “2010 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Gala”. Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  6. Jump up^ Asante, Molefi Kete (2002). 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-963-8.
  7. Jump up^ Ranalli, Melanie (19 September 2006). “Penn State astronaut selected homecoming grand marshal”. Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 5 June 2010.

External links