Posts

Leadership Quiz: Do you have what it takes to be a leader?

 What can a leadership quiz tell you about your leadership skills? Take it and find out!

How often do you come across online quizzes that you find yourself answering on the fly? Some of them are fun, some are silly, but the best of them make you think. That’s what we hope this leadership quiz does for you. We hope it makes you think about your leadership skills and your next career step.

Leadership Quiz: Do you have what it takes to be a leader?

 

Three role models that reveal great female leadership skills. A leadership quiz can provide insights into your own leadership skills. Take it!

A leadership quiz can provide insights into your own leadership skills.

How useful can a leadership quiz be?

A leadership quiz like the one we designed for you can shed light on your inclination, interests, talents, listening skills (a critical leadership skill!) and leadership style. It’s a great way to explore your decision-making skills and whether you are in the right career track.

If, once you answer the leadership quiz you realize that your career could use some tweaks, don’t rush into anything. Do some thorough research before you make any life-changing decisions. Talk to your trusted board of advisors, your mentors, your colleagues, and your former bosses. Let this leadership quiz be the sparkle that ignites a conversation about where you want to go next and what you need to get there. For instance, we consider listening skills to be a very important aspect of a leader and they can be developed with the appropriate training.

Dr.Angelica Perez-Litwin, founder and CEO of the ELLA Institute applies her amazing leadership skills to encourage more women in technology

Dr.Angelica Perez-Litwin, founder and CEO of the ELLA Institute applies her amazing leadership skills to encourage more women in technology

Testing your leadership skills can be fun

The truth is that most of us take a leadership quiz with the hope of discovering something about ourselves that can amaze us and give us the courage to do things we didn’t think we could. (Or to corroborate that we have indeed fabulous leadership skills, or the best listening skills of anyone we know!)

So —although we wouldn’t suggest you give this leadership quiz the power to decide your future— we do highly recommend that you answer it as honestly as possible to get some insights into your leadership skills that can be useful when planning the next steps in your career.

Loading

*We wish to thank James Estill of Procter & Gamble for his contributions to this quiz.

Embracing your transformational leadership style

By Mariela Dabbah

Leaders who have a transformational leadership style empower others to become leaders

Leaders who have a transformational leadership style empower others to become leaders

I didn’t set out to be have a transformational leadership style or to be a transformational leader for that matter. Heck, I didn’t even set out to be a leader. It just happened. I wanted to be a writer. A fiction writer, at that. How did I get here?

Since my first book, How to Get a Job in the U.S., came out, I felt the need to amplify the message of the books I wrote, so I could provide tools and resources to more people. One thing led to another, and a non-profit and a women empowerment movement later, here I am. Growing every day into the leader I’d like to become with the help of thousands who are anxious to be led in their own journey to become leaders.

A while back, when I started exploring different leadership styles more closely, I realized that I squarely fit into the transformational leader category. But what does it mean to have a transformational leadership style?

Definition of transformational leadership style

Unlike the transactional leadership style of leaders who lead through social exchange (I.e.: offering financial  incentives for a job well done and denying rewards for lack of productivity,) transformational leaders “stimulate and inspire followers to both achieve extraordinary outcomes and, in the process, develop their own leadership capacity.” [1] These leaders place great value in developing their followers, empowering, and challenging them. They focus on building followers’ ability to identify and achieve their goals. These leaders encourage their followers to be innovative and become leaders regardless of where they are in their careers. They shed light on each follower’s inner motivations and ambitions rather than waste energy in convincing them to follow the leader. By guiding others through an internal journey, a transformational leadership style elicits an unprecedented level of loyalty, excitement, and commitment for the leader’s causes.

A leader with a transformational leadership style encourages followers to find their inner motivations and aspirations

A leader with a transformational leadership style encourages followers to find their inner motivations and aspirations

As they trust their leader implicitly, followers are ready to do anything to support their leader’s objectives.  Naturally, this is how transformational leadership helps leaders fulfill their own organization’s goals. When the person is an authentic transformational leader, unbelievably powerful things happen and real, positive change takes place. And here lies the power of the transformational leadership style.

Not surprisingly, studies show that this is the most effective way to lead, and I would add that it’s probably the most fitting leadership style for the 21st century.

I didn’t set out to have a transformational leadership style. But when you lead from your gut, when you follow your convictions, when you prioritize the well being of the majority, when you live what you preach and remain a life-long learner, you wake up one day having effectively transformed the lives of many who in turn have transformed yours. It becomes an almost magical virtuous circle. That’s when you know that you are no longer just a writer and you must embrace your role – whether you got there by design or fate.

 


[1] Transformational Leadership, Bernard M. Bass and Ronald E. Riggio, Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2008

Best Tips to Identify the Qualities of a Leader

By Mariela Dabbah

Female Leaders: Are You Looking in the Right Place?

Jenny G. is a 24 year-old Air Force Guard pilot who works as an actuary at an aircraft interior design company. Finding female leaders like her inspires me beyond words! A few weeks ago she noticed that one of the teams at her job was having some trouble and she offered her help. “I noticed they were having some communication and leadership issues and I knew I had the experience to help them resolve them,” shared Jenny.

Qualities of a Leader: Female leaders may be right in front of you

Qualities of a Leader: Female leaders may be right in front of you

She never expected the kind of answer she received from her supervisor via email: “Number crunchers don’t have leadership skills. In a few years I may reconsider your offer.” Really? At a time when companies are looking for ways to encourage and promote female leaders, this supervisor couldn’t recognize all the qualities of a leader in this young ambitious woman?

This is what happened next. Rather than believing her supervisor’s words and downsizing her aspirations, Jenny sent a note to the big boss suggesting that she might be able to help the troubled team. And she sent along her credentials: 12 years as a civil air patrol volunteer (which got her interested in joining the Auxiliary U.S. Air Force, part of Homeland Security), her involvement with the Red Shoe Movement, and all the other activities she’s always been involved with that clearly show she has all the qualities of a leader.

Impressed, the big boss asked her to come into his office and, after a nice conversation, promoted her to Program Manager of the team in question. And one more thing: The former supervisor? She now reports to Jenny!

Unfortunately, this is one of many examples of managers missing opportunities and overlooking great potential female leaders.  This happens either because they look in the wrong place or because they hold stereotypes that prevent them from seeing what the people they have right in front of them have to offer.

Qualities of a leader: They’re right in front of you

Missing out on some incredible talent can often be a function of old habits dying hard and of our tendency to take shortcuts. But if you’d like to avoid overlooking women (and men!) who possess the qualities of a leader here’s what you can do:

  •  Pretend your (metaphorical) glasses are broken and borrow the glasses of a colleague who has a different background than you do. Then ask yourself: How would Andrea/Tanisha/Bo/Michael/Ricardo look at this specific candidate? What would she/he see? When you do this exercise you’ll start noticing different aspects of people that you probably didn’t notice before. You can also ask those colleagues to tell you what they see when they look at your candidate so you don’t even have to imagine it.
  • Female leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Make sure you look in the right place.

    Female leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Make sure you look in the right place.

    Explore the lives of your diverse employees outside of work. What experiences do they have that might have given them a solid if non-traditional leadership foundation? Okay, they weren’t in the Girl Scouts, but did they lead their church fundraiser every year? Were they in charge of their household early on? Do they run a family business on the side? Keep in mind that female leaders come in all shapes and sizes.

  • Admit that nowadays leadership is no longer the exclusive realm of senior employees. There are many young employees who are natural leaders and who have practiced those skills in school, in clubs, in volunteer activities and so on. Give them a chance to prove what they can do and you’ll be amazed.
  • Recruit outside of your traditional top 30 schools. Often diverse talent doesn’t make it to those schools because nobody guided them along the way. They didn’t start preparing for admission early enough in their education, or they couldn’t afford those schools financially and didn’t know they could get a free ride if admitted. Recruit at state schools and smaller schools and you’ll find some hidden jewels that have all the qualities of a leader you’re looking for.

So if you want to avoid losing young female leaders like Jenny on your watch, I suggest that you start looking in less obvious places and avoid making any assumptions. You’re probably surrounded by these amazing women who are waiting to be discovered.