Leading with integrity

One of the most common mistakes that student leaders make is confusing responsibility with authority. So says leadership speaker ANDREA MOSBY.

“Effective leaders may have the responsibility to lead their organizations or to complete certain tasks, but earning the respect from followers leads to authority. You can’t force it. You have to know how to lead by consent.”

Mosby says that means taking the time to understand the perspectives of others, particularly around the issues of cultural sensitivity.

“People know when you truly care,” she said. “When you spend time listening to them, taking an interest in them and asking questions that help to improve the environment, people begin to feel safe and comfortable with your leadership.”

Often, Mosby says, the biggest challenge any leader faces is building an environment where people feel valued—a place where people who are different can learn to embrace each other and work together effectively.

“In my life, as I have learned to motivate people, I have had to show a high level of loyalty to the growth and dreams of the people I was leading,” Mosby said. “When you learn how to do that, despite differences, you can generate tremendous cooperation and support for the projects you are working on.”

Gaining sensitivity is an ongoing process, Mosby says. “As a student leader, you have to role model a sensitivity and make it clear that certain behaviors and comments will not be tolerated. It also means helping people to feel safely uncomfortable, introducing them to people with perspectives they might not seek out on their own.”

Andrea travels the nation speaking to students about the roles that character and integrity play in leadership. She tells students that respect comes when leaders make these qualities the cornerstones of their time in charge. “Leadership takes courage and foresight to stand out from the crowd,” she said.

With keynotes on leadership and orientation, Andrea provides good, solid tips and a feel-good message to students. For more information on how Andrea can encourage successful leadership on your campus, please visit campuspeak.com/mosby.