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From College to Knowledge: Leadership

Leadership cannot be taught pedantically. True leaders know how to guide a team, identify others’ strengths and inspire them to collaborate. Through this process, they help others grow and eventually create the next generation of leaders.

Leadership is executed differently at each level of an organization, but the core concepts remain the same. Company CEOs may implement a five-year plan and spearhead the strategy to get there. Moving down the corporate pyramid, management leads by motivating and educating their employees. Regardless of the tactics, leaders should always strive to make their employees feel invested in the company’s overall success.

This principle applies to school as well. When a student feels invested in a subject, they tend to work harder for those classes. In school, leadership roles generally have less authority. When a project calls for a group leader, a student is chosen to delegate responsibilities and connect group members. I think we’ve all worked with a “free-rider” that lets the rest of the group do the work while they lounge around and reap the benefits of the final grade. This may work in school, but as a professional it would never fly. In a classroom, leaders show initiative, confidence and work ethic — three crucial qualities future employers look for in a candidate.

The transition into the real world from college can be difficult and confusing. As an entry-level employee, you really don’t know what an employer is looking for. But I gathered a few suggestions that demonstrate leadership from my time here at Castle that make your life a little bit easier. For one, stay late and go the extra mile. This refers to leading by example, a completely underrated form of leadership. When you set a precedent and tone that others want to emulate, your colleagues will follow, making your team one harmonic, cohesive unit. As Castle VP Scott MacKenzie said, “Everyone needs to complete their role or the team will suffer. You can’t have a flat wheel on a car and expect to move forward.”

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