So, You Want to be a Leader?

Whether in their first management position or at the top of an organizational chart, good leaders never stop growing. In addition, when managers get better, the entire organization benefits: Numerous studies confirm that good leaders correlate with high employee satisfaction, engagement, commitment, and even profitability.1

Below are some attributes that can help you become a better leader:

Communication.

Arguably the most important leadership skill, communication is often a top area for improvement. According to one study, managers who improved their overall effectiveness over a 12- to 18-month period were more likely to have improved their communication skills than any other attribute.2

To update your communication skills, find ways to play to your strengths and improve on weaknesses. If you have been told your e-mails are unclear, have a co-worker review them before you hit send. If your team is reluctant to approach you, establish an open-door policy or make a point of walking around and speaking to everyone. Remember that communication includes listening, not just speaking.

Set expectations—and enforce them.

Studies show that at all levels, only half of leaders hold people to task when they don’t deliver.3It’s vital to set expectations for your team and yourself and ensure that everyone contributes.

Give feedback.

Employees—and especially younger generations—want to know how they are doing. More than half (60 percent) of respondents in one survey said they want feedback daily or weekly, and yet fewer than 30 percent receive it on a regular basis, according to another study.4

Feedback works best when it’s about specific situations and given regularly, not saved for a quarterly or annual performance review. Employees crave both recognition for good work and constructive feedback when they are struggling.

Lead by example.

Emphasize behaviors that you want to see in the people you manage. Beyond modeling basic workplace etiquette and a willingness to address challenges, your own supervisors are counting on you to reflect the company’s core mission and values.

Be positive.

No work situation is without challenges and stress. Keeping a positive outlook when problems arise helps your team focus on addressing problems, not poor morale. Projecting confidence in times of crisis isn’t just good sense—it’s a key part of the role of a manager.

Learn to delegate.

Working in teams and bouncing ideas off your peers can create high-quality work while keeping your stress levels down. Train and trust your team to take on appropriate tasks.

Know your team.

The more you know the strengths and weaknesses of the people who report to you, the better you will be able to match them with roles and responsibilities that synchronize with their interests. Knowing your co-workers on a personal level can pay huge dividends in morale—and make your own time as a leader far more enjoyable and rewarding.

Encourage others to grow.

For you to advance as a leader, you must help your team members do the same. Encourage them to take on more challenging tasks, and help them network and develop skills they will need as they grow into leadership roles of their own.5

The University of Scranton Master of Business Administration can help you develop the ability to lead in today’s changing workplace with the values of ethics and social responsibility that are the hallmark of a Jesuit education.

Learn more about The University of Scranton’s MBA program.


 

SOURCES:
1 Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, “How Damaging Is a Bad Boss, Exactly?,” Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2012/07/how-damaging-is-a-bad-boss-exa
2 Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, “How Poor Leaders Become Good Leaders,” Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2013/02/how-poor-leaders-become-good-l
3 Darren Overfield and Rob Kaiser, “One Out of Every Two Managers Is Terrible at Accountability,” Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2012/11/one-out-of-every-two-managers-is-terrible-at-accountability
4 Maren Hogan, “5 Employee Feedback Stats That You Need to See,” LinkedIn Talent Blog, https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/trends-and-research/2016/5-Employee-Feedback-Stats-That-You-Need-to-See
5 Avery Augustine, “5 Strategies That Will Turn Your Employees Into Leaders,” The Muse, https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-strategies-that-will-turn-your-employees-into-leaders

Scranton Alumna Receives Educator of the Year Award

Jackie DeFilippis ’08 G’11 received the Educator of the Year Award. Jackie is the school counselor at Samuel E. Shull Middle School in Perth Amboy, NJ. What a way to represent the University of Scranton’s school counseling graduate program!

Alumna Jackie DeFilippis was recently recognized as “Educational Services Professional of the Year,” as a School Counselor at Samuel E. Shull Middle School in Perth Amboy, NJ. This award is part of the New Jersey Governor’s Educator of the Year Program. Each school within a school district asks for staff nominations and then a voting committee selects one of the nominees to receive the award based on a specific criteria provided by the organization.

Eligibility criteria includes:

  • Be an expert in the field who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn
  • Actively collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a strong culture of respect and success
  • Demonstrate leadership and innovation in educational activities at the school, district and/or state and national levels that take place both within and outside the school setting
  • Have the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues

DeFilippis said,”I am humbled and honored as this is actually my second time achieving this award. I was also recognized with the same award in 2016 in my previous school district when I was a School Counselor in Elizabeth Avenue Elementary School in Somerset, NJ. I am now in my 8th year of my School Counseling career and I very proudly graduated from the University of Scranton in 2008 with a BS in Counseling & Human Services and again in 2011 with a MS in School Counseling.”

Congratulations, Jackie!

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Learn more about the School Counseling program here.

Award Winning Professor of Education!

Dr. Julie Cerrito, Director of the Graduate Program in School Counseling at the University of Scranton, received the Partner in Education Award by the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC).  This award was presented at the annual PACAC conference at the Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania.

The PACAC Partner in Education Award was created to enhance awareness about the association by recognizing someone outside the membership for outstanding contribution to, and support of, post-secondary education. This award represents the collaborative spirit needed to foster a commitment to educational equity and access for all. Individuals, institutions, and organizations may be nominated to receive this award.

As the Director of the School Counseling Graduate Program, Dr. Cerrito regularly works with school counseling graduate students in finding innovative ways to assist school-aged students, particularly high school students, in reaching their postsecondary education and career goals. Drs. Julie Cerrito and LeeAnn Eschbach, faculty members in the Department of Counseling and Human Services at the University of Scranton, have collaborated with local high school administrators and practicing school counselors to create special district-wide and multi-district events such as “Post-Secondary Education Readiness Night”, “College Application Night”, and “College Signing Day”. These events invite both high school students and their parents to their respective neighborhood schools, where graduate students in the field of school counseling share vital information (ex. how to select a major, how to apply to college, how to visit a college, etc.).

These topics are important when it comes to navigating what comes next after high school and the steps one should take in planning successfully for college and a future career. Research has indicated that first-generation college students, racially and ethnically diverse students, and students from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds often lack the resources and support needed to navigate the many unknowns of the future. These events attempt to reach out to those student populations, level the playing field, and help them gain the confidence they need to be proactive in planning for the future. Graduate school counseling students frequently comment on the direct benefit of increased “learning through doing” as well as the opportunity to impact youth positively in the local area. They see how their future work as school counselors connects to really making a difference in the lives of school-aged students and their families.

To learn more about the School Counseling Program, click here.