Leadership is more than being the head of a group, leader of an organization, or a team captain. A strong leader is one who can see a vision, rally the people around him or her, and successfully accomplish the goals given. Many of us have leadership ability within our characteristics and Steven Shallenberger, CEO of Becoming Your Best, has come up with techniques that harness the skills to augment your natural ability.

Shallenberger recently spoke to a class of business students at the David Eccles School of Business about the keys to being a successful leader. He gave them an opportunity to look for ways in their early careers that they could demonstrate their aptitude. Shallenberger emphasizes that being a leader is not about being compared to another person, but looking at you as an individual. Through years of research and study, Shallenberger has developed an approach that helps people find a balance between their personal and professional lives, which then allows them to excel in both areas.

U of U business school students learned about (what the company labels) the 13 Guiding Constants, which are the foundation for leadership. These Constants reflect characteristics that build your personal brand, affect how you create relationships, and help you become a strong leader. The three distinct areas interplay with each other, which, if done with intentionality, work together to bring synergy to your life.

The first five Constants emphasize being authentic, continuing to learn and grow, and perseverance. Shallenberger shared with the class a story of Olympic runner, Derek Redmond, who had a horrific hamstring tear during the 400-meter semi-final race in the 1992 games. Redmond continued to limp down the lane, with the help of his father, to complete the race. “There will be a traumatic moment in your life. It will make you stronger. It will challenge you.” The point is to never give up, but to continue to the finish line.

The next four Constants focus on how you build interpersonal relationships. The key to maintaining strong relationships is to treat people with respect, honesty, and integrity to build trust, which benefits both parties. “When trust is high, it’s easier to solve a difficult problem.” Both sides will have confidence each is doing the best and working toward finding the best solution.

The final four Constants reflect leading with a vision, a clear plan, and being accountable to the outcome. Leaders who can communicate their goals with enthusiasm and purpose will be able to energize a group toward reaching their aspirations. An executive who has proven their character and demonstrated their sincerity will be able accomplish success because of the relationships built, investment in people and their selves, extensive knowledge in their field, and understanding of the tasks at hand.

Combining these three aspects of your life to create harmony will develop your leadership skills to advanced levels—providing personal and professional satisfaction to take you through your career.

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