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Are YOU a Leader?

Blog Author: Oreta M. Samples, RVT, MPH, DHSc
NAVTA Committee Member

Are you a leader? What does that term even mean? For me, I would answer “yes” and “no .”Leading a classroom lecture, presenting at a conference, or spearheading a project at work, I can lead the room using intelligence, wit, and sometimes just bull-headed determination. However, I am not always a leader. Sometimes, I “follow” and therefore rely on a leader to guide my actions towards success for the group.

To understand “leadership,” we can look to Merriam-Webster, who loosely advises that leadership is the ‘act of leading a group of people or an organization .’Or you can reflect on individual circumstances in which you are tasked with being a “leader” or a “follower .”Recognizing that it takes both roles to form a group, whether a military division of the US Army crossing the Rhine in 1945 or an office manager at the veterinary hospital facilitating a lunch-and-learn by a pharmaceutical company. Neither scenario will survive or be productive without strong leadership and a willing group to follow.

First and foremost, your leadership style is your own. So, own it! Your inherent personality contributes mightily to your leadership style. If you have a laid-back personality, chances are your leadership style will be one of congenial all-for-one and one-for-all style where you, as the leader, engage in the very activity you are tasked to lead to completion side by side with others. If you have a quirky, fun-loving personality, your leadership style may be to make tasks fun or entertaining for the group as they work. But whatever your style, tweak it, make it your own and let it “lead” you down the path of being a great leader.