Presidents’ Day reminds us of our commitment as leaders to continue a life-long study of leadership. One of the most effective ways we can pursue those studies is to take a look back at our role models and assess how they applied leadership to accomplish their goals. Looking at a wide variety of leaders and leadership styles gives us a number of different sources to help us define our own leadership style.
Assessing Our Role Models
When we think about successful leaders, especially on Presidents’ Day, we tend to think about widely known leaders of historical significance, but our study of leadership doesn’t have to be focused on the most powerful or successful leaders in history. We can learn just as much, if not more, from leaders we have experienced first-hand in our own lives. We can also learn a great deal from leaders who weren’t always successful in their endeavors. Reflecting on how those role models dealt with failure and overcame significant challenges can give us even greater insight into the kind of leaders we want to be.
Remember, nobody is perfect, including ourselves and our role models, so as we examine traits and qualities made these leaders successful or unsuccessful, we may find some qualities that we don’t find so desirable. This is okay though, because we don’t have to emulate only one leader or leadership style to create our own. We can choose the traits and qualities that we think will make us most successful as leaders and incorporate them from a wide range of leadership styles. Creating our own leadership style based on our core values will help us to be genuine and authentic leaders.
Take a few minutes this Presidents’ Day to find some role models that you admire and think about which aspects of their leadership traits and skills you’d like to adopt into your own leadership style.