BN360 Spotlight Blog: What Makes a Successful Leader

“If you’re alone at the top, you’re a hiker, not a leader.” – John Maxwell

While working at Alliance Advisory Group, I had the opportunity to be mentored by chairman and CEO Bob Fashano. He believed it was his mission to help develop leaders – and everything he did was in alignment with that credo.

MaySpotlightProfessionalBob’s greatest contribution to my career is his infinite wisdom regarding what makes a successful leader. He taught me that leadership is a process, it’s not about the position or title. He would laugh and say, “Everyone knows who the boss is, I don’t need to remind them!”

As a leader, you must always be on a journey of lifelong learning. At the end of most days, Bob would ask me, “What did you learn today?” While initially panicked by this question, I quickly learned that his true goal was to connect with me and not actually check in on my “learning curve.” And, while he’d be proud of me if I learned a new skill, what he really wanted to know was: How did you become a more compassionate leader today? Did you acquire a valuable, new habit? How have you positively influenced someone else’s life?

I am now in a position to lead others as others have done for me. The “Bob-isms” that have been embedded in my own professional life can now be used in yours. Not only will they help you become a better leader, they will help you become a better person.

We Lead People and We Manage Things.
The to-do list that is a mile long needs to be managed. The projects that are on the corner of our desk need to be managed. But, the people on our team need to be led. Connect with your teammates and find out how you can help them be better professionals. What tools do they need? What type of coaching do they want from you? You’ll develop a relationship that’s rooted in trust and what’s really more important than that?BrittanyFrey-2015_blog

Celebrate Success and Failures for 24 Hours.
We’ve all been there – we had a fantastic event, killed a new business presentation or landed a new client. On the flip side, we’ve also had disappointing events, couldn’t articulate our value proposition in the presentation and lost a client. Whatever the outcome is – celebrate it for 24 hours or allow yourself to go into “I stink” mode for 24 hours – and that’s it. Come out of it a better professional and learn from your successes and failures.

Hard. Easy.
Like everything in life, there are some things that are easy to do and others that are more difficult. You may need to have a conversation with a teammate who is underperforming, and you’re probably putting it off because it’s hard to do. The next time you’re faced with a hard task or conversation, do it first. Do the hard things first and the easy things will act as your reward.

About the Author: Brittany Frey is Director of Marketing and Circulation at Buffalo Spree Magazine.  Outside of leading others in the workplace, she is actively involved in the Buffalo community with various organizations including Junior League of Buffalo, Leadership Buffalo, Torn Space Theatre and serving on the Advisory Council of BN360.

To learn more about Brittany Frey, check out her recent interview on WKBW’s AM Buffalo.