1 Leaders at every level

Some have heard the expression, leaders are born, not made. Actually, either can be true. Some are leaders by distinction of their birth. Some are leaders because of the innate abilities they possess to encourage and motivate. But leaders can be developed – they can evolve from reclusive introvert to transformational charismatic. It’s all in the training.

The term leader often denotes the head of something, or someone in charge. But not every leader is a CEO or board president. Leaders are not always large and in charge; sometimes they are team members who simply stand out. This and many other kinds of leadership is often transactional -- the leader operates in a give and take mode. Whether a project team leader, dance squad captain, club president, or head of the debate team, he or she may negotiate, delegate tasks and expect accountability, and reward high performance while punishing non-performance. A transformational leader, on the other hand, is a visionary. While he or she negotiates, delegates, and rewards or punishes, he or she also sells a vision for the future and brings followers along to his or her program with promises of a positive outcome.

No matter what kind of leader you are, communication is the key to success. All businesspeople should be able to communicate professionally, clearly, and concisely to ensure that the message sent is the message received. And this does not only apply to email – it includes all types of written genres, from memorandums to reports and presentation. Even business students should be good business communicators – beginning with the essay. Being able to follow instructions and presenting assignments that reflect assignment requirements is good practice for business communications. Here are some tips —

  • Format your assignments per expectations set forth in your assignment. Be sure to follow the appropriate writing style guide (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).
  • Plan ahead – organize your thoughts and prepare an outline that covers every point you want to make and every concept you want to present.
  • Use section headings to help guide your reader through your thought process. No one, especially a busy executive, wants to read page after page of paragraphs without any indication of what is being presented in each.
  • Check your work! Proofreading is the final step to ensuring that you have conveyed the information clearly, but also that you have not made spelling or other errors that will ruin your best efforts.


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