Leaders Are Not Born – They’re Made

Last Friday morning here at our headquarters, all of us Oneupwebbers participated in a leadership course provided by a new client of ours, Lead Star. And it was fantastic.

I have attended leadership-type training before. I have traveled to weekend-long workshops, attended lunch and learns, and done leadership-building exercises at various points in my career, but I can honestly say that I have never been to anything as effective as the one I was just lucky enough to participate in.

The purpose of this leadership course was two-fold. One, to help us gain a better understanding of what Lead Star does, and two, for us to grow as individual leaders. Lead Star is a leadership development consulting firm with a decade of experience working with Fortune 500 companies, small and mid-sized businesses, leading nonprofits, government agencies and respected academic institutions. Since 2004, Lead Star’s programs have reached more than 75,000 professionals worldwide. Angie Morgan is our local connection here in Traverse City, but Lead Star has consultants all across the country. For a small sample of what they’re about, check out their blog, Leadership Moments.

Leadstar Workshop Collage

What is a leader?

In anticipation of the workshop I started thinking about what a leader is. There are many qualities we can think of that help make leaders, such as: confidence, authenticity, passion, being innovative and articulate…but it was hard to come up with one person who has all qualities of a perfect leader. Better said: There are no perfect leaders. How inspiring is that, though? And liberating? You can be a leader, I can be a leader, we all can – and we don’t have to be perfect!

“A Leader is someone who influences outcomes and inspires others. True leadership is not defined by notoriety, power, prestige, status or job title.” – Angie Morgan, Lead Star Founding Partner

What was really special about this workshop was that it forced us to step back, sort through, think creatively, reflect, re-invent and experience work from a whole new perspective. It taught us a lot about the importance of process, and how systems can always be tweaked by everyone in the workflow to be more efficient. We were given a variety of exercises that made us analyze ourselves and each other, and ultimately given tools to increase productivity among team members.

While it is important to understand your own strengths and weaknesses, when working in a team, it is equally as important to understand which people are best at which things and which areas others can help in. The best functioning team is one that works together to build each member up, and also understands when and where help is needed, and how to give it.

The general sentiment that went through the Oneupweb team immediately after Lead Star’s presentation, was one of genuine excitement for our future. We truly value one another here, and it was clear through the exercises that Angie gave us to do in small groups, that we all have a common goal of supporting each other, and continuing to find ways to improve our creative process for our clients.

Leading from the front

I can’t give enough praise to Angie and Lead Star for the amazing work they do. They really are the epitome of leaders, and I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our business partnership.