Biz tip of the week: Developing a young leader
Biz tip of the week

Biz tip of the week: Developing a young leader

My business partner’s son will serve as president of the Eller College Dean’s Council. Students on the council serve as direct liaisons between students, faculty and college administrators to improve the Eller experience.

These opportunities rarely happen in life. He is positioned to create lifelong, deep relationships with other council members. As the president, he could create impressions with thousands of Eller students, too. These are the future business leaders of America. Some will hold influential positions, capable of creating incredible opportunities for years to come.

His ability to be a good leader is critical. Good leaders are very rare. Leadership skills can be learned, but they usually take years to develop. Here are some of the most important leadership skills he needs to know now.

People in the organization will recognize you as a leader through your actions, not your title.

There is no room for ego in a good leader. The most important leadership skill is humility. Without humility, you will resist learning from others. Without learning, your leadership skills will not develop.

A good leader is responsible for establishing the culture of the organization. They must create a true team environment where everyone feels safe and secure. Team members must protect each other, not sacrifice co-workers for their own personal gain. Internal threats force people to focus on self preservation. When employees feel safe, they focus on achieving the goals of the organization.

A good leader motivates everyone around them to achieve their full potential. Good leaders delegate responsibility and avoid the temptation to micro manage. Team members should be allowed to experience failure, but be helped back up — some of the greatest lessons in life come from our losses.

Good leaders have learned to speak last. They listen and ask questions to fully understand everyone’s perspective. When faced with a problem, junior staff members may have a better solution. Be just as ready to follow as you are to lead.

Bill Nordbrock is vice president of community relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment. For information, go to, send an email to or call 505-3636.

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