skipI am privileged to know Skip Novakovich, commissioner of the Port of Kennewick and the 2011 Tri-Citian of the Year. Thank you, Skip, for blogging for Growing Forward Services and for your leadership in our community!

A leadership position will often put you in a very lonely place.  When you step out in a leadership role you will be attacked.  Be ready for it. You will not be able to please everyone.  And those attackers will try everything and anything to discredit what you do and who you are.

It is important to remember that leading is something you do.  It isn’t a position you hold, it is an activity. Don’t ever assume that you can lead merely because of you position.  Leadership requires you to do something and it requires you to have the skills to actually lead.

You need to be a role model.  A person that people can look up to, for answers, guidance and inspiration.  You must constantly watch what you do and say, how you act, keep a cool head, practice what you preach and lead by your example to others.

Develop the ability to generate Trust and Respect.   Those who follow you must have faith in your abilities and the decisions you make on their behalf.  It is imperative that you have integrity and a vision or goal for a better future.

Develop the ability to express your vision or goal in a way that inspires others to believe in what you want to accomplish.  And don’t be afraid to make the first move, or take the first action to accomplish your vision or goal.  No one want to follow someone who will not participate themself.