Career Services

Be sure to check out our Competent Muleriders blog post to see an introduction to all of our career competencies. Also, keep an eye out for the other 7 career competency blog posts as well.

The key competency that we are going to discuss today, is leadership. What does leadership look like? How can I use this competency if I am a lower branch employee in my place of work? What are good ways to improve my leadership? 

What is Leadership?

So everyone knows what a leader is in the most basic sense; the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country as defined by Google. We have also heard that good leaders lead by example. That has been said for years now because many leaders are becoming less and less like actual leaders. Again, leaders are expected to be in the front, not commanding from behind everyone.

Because of this, many people get bad ideas or examples of how to be a leader. Being a leader can come from anywhere in a command chain. Whether you are the janitor or CEO of a company, you can lead and lead well. A CEO’s path to being a leader is obvious in many people’s minds, because of the bad examples they’ve had about what a leader is. We often misconstrue leaders with bosses or supervisors, but that’s not the case. The CEO’s path to leadership is very similar to the janitor’s.

How to be a Leader

Both a janitor and CEO can begin to be a leader by being a positive person, no matter the hardships that they encounter. That doesn’t mean that things don’t bother them, but they know how to handle these issues and stay focused on the matter at hand. A weak person will let that fear or anxiety fester and it will infect other people in the company, causing a failure from within. They can also both inspire people under a shared vision. Sure, one of those positions has an easier path to inspiring more people, but if that janitor continues to talk positively and try to inspire the workers at his company, they will begin to take note of who that janitor is and see the vision that they have for their life. You can also inhibit leadership in yourself by motivating, encouraging, and continually building your own confidence.

If you incorporate a confident, encouraged, motivated, personality, you will begin to approach tasks in a different way. Which will spread to other employees and you are exhibiting leadership at that point, no matter your position on the company ladder. Seeking out feedback, insight, and advice from others, without a worry about their relation to you on the company ladder will also endear you to other employees and will build your leadership ability.

Another way that leadership can be used is to be able to identify your own strengths and weaknesses, or even your teams or companies. After identifying these, you then leverage these to put yourself, your team, or your company in a better position. For instance, if you know you are a good public speaker, then when given the choice, you could push for a presentation of your proposal or review, rather than it being just written and emailed to the person necessary.

Contact Career Services

I hope this blog post helps answer these questions better. If you still have questions after reading this, please stop by Career Services in Bruce 212; or send us an email at

Allen Dudley

Allen Dudley

Hello! I am Allen Dudley. I am currently serving a year-long fellowship with Americorps VISTA+SAU in Southern Arkansas University’s Career Services office. This summer, 2022, I will be graduating with my Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering, from SAU as well. I am considering re-signing for another year of service with Americorps VISTA+SAU after this term is up, or immediately pursuing a career in either Ministry or Engineering. I have loved my time at SAU, from my fellow students, professors, supervisors I’ve had, and the opportunities it’s given me!

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