Become the Leader You Are Meant to Be

Dr. Gary Fraser

Dr. Gary Fraser

Are people born with the leadership gene — or can they learn it? Dr. Gary Fraser, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at NYU Stern, believes it’s a mix of both. In Forté’s Women Lead webinar, 5 Tools to Develop Yourself into the Leader You Are Meant to Be, he says, “You have to understand what it is in your own makeup that will put you in a position to lead others.”

Fraser earned his doctorate in higher education administration at University of Pennsylvania, where he wrote his dissertation on how business schools deliver leadership development to their students. He’s a former member of Forté’s Board of Directors. In this Women Lead webinar, he shares practical guidance with Forté members on how to strengthen leadership skills.

Fraser defines leadership as “Having a vision and motivating others to follow it.” Growing yourself as a leader requires three things: focus, support, and a plan. Fraser walks viewers through the leadership development process and recommends five tools that will help you achieve your leadership goals.

Focus on the Attributes You Want to Develop

What does it mean to become a better leader? To answer that question, think about what leadership means to you. Fraser suggests starting with self-reflection and self-assessment. Look at a list of leadership attributes — like the one he shares onscreen in the webinar — and think about which ones resonate most with you. Becoming a stronger leader isn’t just about focusing on your strengths; you’ll also want to shore up your weaknesses.

Determine Who Will Support You in Your Leadership Efforts

After looking inward, take a look around. Pay close attention to the leaders you admire and the methods they use to motivate others. Dr. Fraser says, “Having a sense for what people have done and why that has worked for them is really important.” Understanding the leadership styles of the people you work with will also allow you to better support them.

Make a Plan to Develop Your Leadership Skills

“Once you’ve identified the leadership attributes you want to develop, you have to define what I call ‘acts of leadership’ that you will engage in, and you need to develop at least one act for each attribute.” In the webinar, Dr. Fraser shares an example of a spreadsheet you can use to create a two-year plan and assess your progress over time.  

Dr. Fraser sees this as an ongoing process. He says, “It’s not like at some point, you become a leader and then that’s it. You should always constantly be thinking, ‘How do I work on these leadership development skills?’”

To hear more of Dr. Fraser’s leadership development advice, view the full webinar, Women Lead: 5 Tools to Develop Yourself into the Leader You Are Meant to Be. It was recorded and is now available on demand.

A full library of previous Forté webinars is available to Premium Access Pass members. For $100/year, Access Pass members receive exclusive invitations to Women Lead webinars.  If your company is a Forté partner you may be entitled to free Access Pass.  Check our partners to see if your organization is involved.  Access Pass members also have exclusive use of the Forté Job Center; you can browse positions and post your resume to be seen by leading companies seeking top talent.

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