Discover Your Leadership Strengths | Jobs In MD

Discover Your Leadership Strengths

By Diane Dunton

Recruiters often seek leaders for positions or seek applicants who have demonstrated leadership. Leadership can be demonstrated in a number of different ways, but what is leadership and how can you improve your leadership skills and attributes?

When I first meet a new client, I ask them to share their autobiography with me. As I listen to their story, I listen to their abilities and when they have demonstrated different skills, one being leadership. Many times, individuals do not even see their leadership skills or attributes. They are too close to their experience to see it as leadership.

Uncovering Your Leadership Skills

The first is to reflect on your experiences. Draw a timeline with professional experiences above the line and personal experiences below the line. Starting at graduation from high school (some people may need to include high school), chart the roles you have played over the years. As you reflect on the roles, several may include leadership on a committee at work, with a church group, on a non-profit board, or with a sports community.

As you look at the roles, ask yourself "What was required of me?"

Skills for leaders include:

  • Creating a vision
  • Rallying others around the vision and goals
  • Making tough decisions
  • Being willing to change course, if necessary
  • Belief in what you are trying to achieve

When did you demonstrate some or all of these skills and attributes?

Questions to Ask Yourself

After reflecting on your own experiences, what did you learn about yourself and what can you teach others? Leaders can tell others in a compelling way about their successes and failures.

What gaps do you have in your experiences? Where can you grow? Everyone has an opportunity to show leadership at some time during their personal or professional life. During a time of unemployment, assess your leadership skills, attributes and experiences and determine what you might do during this time to enhance your skills.

Discover Ways to Grow

Seek new opportunities to grow as a leader. Practice personal leadership by creating your own vision,setting goals, gathering support and celebrating small successes along the way. Seek roles where you can learn from others such as joining a committee in your town, volunteering for a community event or assisting with a non-profit by being on a board.

These opportunities will position you to share confidently with recruiters who you are as a leader.

Diane L. Dunton M.S., president of Potential Released Consulting Services since 1996, has over 25 years of business and HR experience. Diane has received specialized training with National Training Labs, the Gestalt Institute, Center for Creative Leadership, the University of Michigan's Organizational Career Development and the Center for Reengineering Leadership programs. She has developed programs for over 25,000 employees and leads more than 20 workshops annually offering executive coaching, professional individual coaching and programs on leadership and strategic planning. She has appeared before conferences of up to 9,000 participants and her work has appeared in both U.K. and U.S. management publications, including the Society for Training and Development's Team and Organizational Development Sourcebooks (2003-2006).Learn more about Diane at