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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman


Updated: May 27, 2020

While the word “leadership” has many different meanings, it is the active form of the word that is important to the career development practitioner’s client. Without action, the client cannot follow a leader, achieve a leadership position, or develop an attitude of respect for the role. ~ David M. Reile, Ph.D.

FOCUS ON: Improving Leadership Skills

Quick: think of someone who you admire as a leader. What traits does that person possess? Chances are, the characteristics that come to mind might include authenticity, adaptability, and passion. When considering your own growth as a leader, it can be helpful to not only look towards the people we know, but also to the principles of quality leadership that go beyond our own circles. Consider this list of eleven critical tenants of leadership to find areas where you can improve:

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Persuasive Leadership

What roles do threats, passion, humor, imperfection, surprise, and wonder play in an effective leader’s ability to persuade other people? If the art of persuasion can be described as a way of giving people the chance to see something new, the power to persuade others is an important tool for any leader to cultivate. As a career development professional, it may be a relevant topic to tackle with clients, and it is also important, to help them consider which elements of communication and relationships are part of successful persuasion. Read on to find out more at:

GENDER IN THE WORKPLACE: Emphasizing the Feminine in Leadership

As career development professionals, it’s important that we help clients see that part of being an effective leader is having the ability to work with a variety of different personalities by emphasizing both intellectual and emotional intelligences. Looking across gender lines can help us do that. Even though women only hold approximately 14% of Senior Executive positions in Fortune 500 companies, there is a growing body of evidence that shows that there is something to be learned from the leadership characteristics that are often more clearly seen in women. Read this blog about some of the skills that have women scoring higher on several measures of leadership today, including collaboration and initiative, and consider how growing the capacity for all of these skills can develop a new generation of leaders in the workplace.

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: Developing Leadership in School

College students are increasingly inundated with the idea of “leadership” as an important concept, but it’s not always easy to recognize or define, especially in a world with a disappearing landscape of progressive career paths. As a result, a number of universities are now implementing formal leadership programs, designed to challenge young students to become well-versed in all aspects of leadership. Read more in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

TOP TEN: Leadership Practices to Stop Today

In a work world that has changed so much (think social media, telecommuting, and job sharing, for example), it is important to recognize that the old way of leading is not going to be as effective anymore. Unsure of how walking around the office or investing in technology may give the wrong impression? Consider the alternatives – engaging more and walking less, investing in people rather than computers – to see alternate possibilities for becoming more innovative, increasing productivity, and growing profit. Learn the ten practices that are “out” and what is now “in” by reading:


The unique role of military service in developing a leadership style is explored in the following blog by Diane Hudson Burns. The career counselor working with veterans must remember that it is important for vets to identify their natural abilities and leverage those strengths on the resume and in the interview process.

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To lead people, walk beside them. - Lao Tzu
Humans are ambitious and rational and proud. And we don’t fall in line with people who don’t respect us and who we don’t believe have our best interests at heart. We are willing to follow leaders, but only to the extent that we believe they call on our best, not our worst. - Rachel Maddow


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