A Publication of WTVP

We are constantly asking ourselves “What makes us great leaders?” Depending on who you ask, they will all most likely have different answers. Some would say that great leaders are born. Others would suggest that great leaders are created through coaching, training and guidance.

In the business world, businesspeople are constantly attending professional development sessions, with a major focus being leadership. They encourage us to be the greatest we can be, reach for the stars or believe in ourselves. Many times, these sessions are required. Business professionals must attend in order to update certifications, become trained on specifics relative to their trades/fields, or simply for personal growth.

Advancing one’s education is key when talking about leadership. Knowledge is power. The more information you have, the more people will turn to you for guidance and direction. Professional development sessions are very important when it comes to improving our overall success. Leadership seminars encourage us to break away from our normal routines and branch out. Through these events, we are able to connect with other professionals and build relationships that we may not have otherwise established. Providing valuable exposure to other leaders, whether they are from within our community or not, is designed to broaden leadership skills, promote community involvement and action, and most importantly, harness and shape the intellectual capital of our leaders. Leadership sessions are designed to be the building blocks that enhance the qualities that business professionals possess.

True leaders are effective communicators, honest to their employers, go above and beyond the call of duty, have positive attitudes, work well with others, and complete their assigned tasks on the appropriate timelines. Leaders are those who jump on board with a project, are not afraid to get “dirty,” and most importantly, have the outlook that anything is possible. Employers view all of these qualities as admirable, and those who have them as people want to work for them. All of these are behaviors that were taught or instilled in us at a young age.

In the business world, those characteristics are valuable and need to be incorporated. Our personalities and attitudes are what make us the leaders we strive to be. Sure, attending leadership seminars and sessions are essential for obtaining information and establishing connections with others. However, it is important to remember that values, attitudes and behaviors make up the foundation of what defines a great leader. We have all had mentors or looked up to someone because of his or her leadership style. They are our ideal example of leaders because of their positive outlook and attitude within the workplace. They are typically respected by others, lead by example and are hardworking individuals. True leaders are true to themselves. If you are true to yourself, you will shape yourself into the leader you want to be. iBi

The Young Professionals Organization of Greater Peoria is a program
of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce.

» If you want to become a better leader, consider the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leadership School. Applications are now being accepted for the 2011 course. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the community and how to be an effective leader in today’s business climate. For more information on CLS, the schedule of speakers and field trips for the 2011 course, visit or call (309) 495-5926. Only 42 participants will be accepted.