Leaders are the "lids" to a business's growth.
The business can only grow to the size of its leaders.
That's why it's so essential to grow as a leader. Grow yourself, grow your people, and then you can grow your business.
I had the great opportunity to interview, Tina Giorgio, President and CEO of ICBA Bancard, a group service provider of payment solutions for community banks. Tina is passionate about three keys that make a great leader: mentorship, continuous learning, and leading by example.
Here's what she had to say:
The Value of Mentorship
Finding a mentor is an important part of anyone's career.
But if you're trying to advance through management, mentorship is crucial.
A mentor is helpful when you need to brainstorm ideas -- discuss ideas with someone else will ensure you end up with stronger outcomes. And having that trusted adviser is invaluable as you go through your career.
Mentors are also great at providing honest, candid feedback. This feedback will ultimately help to shape you as a stronger leader in the future.
The Importance of Continuous Learning
One of the main pieces of advice Tina gives to others is to never stop learning.
If you stop learning, you stop growing.
There's a variety of ways that you can continue learning. Maybe the one that comes to mind first is learning in the academic field.
But you can also learn from others.
Networking and spending time with your peers in the industry is a tremendous opportunity to learn. Plus, it doesn't take a lot of time and energy to do.
When I think back on what I was like as a little kid, I was very curious. That curiosity has stuck with me and helped me to continue studying, researching, and looking at things from all angles. This lifelong learning has helped me to form my own ideas and stick to them.
When we get out of high school or college, we tend to just quit learning. When we don't have the deadline of a looming test or paper, we simply don't have the discipline to learn new things. We need to bring that discipline back into our lives.
The Essentiality of Leading by Example
When you're in a leadership role, someone's always observing you, whether your peers, the person you report to or your employees.
What you do will leave an impact -- so make sure it's a positive one.
Being a leader isn't just about the decision-making or about how you carry yourself.
It's about your actions.
So, roll up your sleeves.
If there's something going on at work that's unplanned or requires a tremendous effort, get in the trenches with your employees and help out.
And here's one more thing -- the title of your job doesn't make you a leader.
It's you, that makes you a leader.
Get out there and do what you need to do to show that you are a true leader.
If Someone Had Lunch With You, What's the Key Thing You'd Want Them to Walk Away With?
I asked Tina a question I like to all ask my guests. Here's what she had to say:
"The one thing I'd want them to walk away with is that I'm genuine. There's no mask here. What I say is what I feel in my heart. I try to stay true to myself, true to my values, and just be honest with people."
If you don't use iTunes, you can listen here.