Cultivating the business leaders of tomorrow is one of our main ambitions at Dialectica. Gearing towards growing great people managers and leaders, we are helping our team members to develop their people and team management skills by participating in a wide range of learning and development programs and on-the-job trainings. These leadership skills development initiatives are designed to meet the new-age leadership fundamentals that are all about adapting to change, being a team player, and an inspiring, empathetic leader.
AIESEC Canada, a youth-run, non-profit organization that provides young people with personal development, shares the exact passion with us: nurturing future leaders while focusing on a deep soft skills training, a goal that is met through multiple global volunteering, internship, and project opportunities.
With this in mind, today we ask 5 leaders across Dialectica and AIESEC Canada to identify the best practices on how one can lead by example while keeping pace with today’s people-centric management practices.
Providing constructive feedback inspires both personal and professional growth
Portfolio Manager at AIESEC Canada
An authentic leader is willing to continuously share and receive all kinds of comments with their team, both positive and negative, as clear communication is the key to better performance and wealth. However, providing 360* feedback requires strong alignment with your organizations’ goals and values and at the same time having strong empathy and listening skills. Leaders that aspire to make an impact are making sure to provide advice and comments while pointing out areas of improvement that are useful for the future. That being said, the center of the attention should be the identification of the challenge and the invention of applicable solutions. Also, creating incentives,such as rewards and recognition, anytime that an obstacle is being tackled, would definitely increase motivation and inspire growth for the team.
Looking up to role models will lead you to best leadership practices
Antonis Gkinitsopoulos: ex MCVP incoming Global Volunteer at AIESEC and current Senior Manager, Client Service at Dialectica
During my participation in AIESEC, I have gained multiple soft skills, such as effective communication and flexibility, all of which I have mastered during my first career steps at Dialectica. I never stopped looking for learning opportunities and never stopped trying to discover innovative and impactful ways on how to lead by example. Hence, I joined the mini MBA program, participated at the Leadership Academy, attended meetings with an external trainer, while also never missed one to one discussions with colleagues who were operating at the same level and were open to sharing good case practices. Having received so much knowledge and tips, I now do follow some techniques that inspired me when I was younger and which I recommend to future leaders such as: sharing the long term vision with my team, providing recognition for small everyday achievements and organizing fun team bonding activities.
If you want to become an effective leader, I think it is crucial you are actively participating in any kind of extracurricular activities
MCVP Membership Experience at AIESEC Canada
Hard skills will take you far, but transferable soft skills such as clear communications, empathy and coaching, will make you stand out as a leader. All of these assets can be cultivated through many extracurricular activities, such as community driven activities and volunteering. Being an active member of the community will give you the chance to get out of your comfort zone and interact with people from different backgrounds. Hence, you will be ready to deal with stressful situations and manage each team-member with a unique, customized approach. Besides, effective leadership looks different from person to person. As soon as you recognize that, you will be able to discover each team member’s inner motive and connect each specific goal with their corresponding needs.
Fuel your team’s motivation by reminding them why they firstly started
Isaac Opoku: ex Human Resource Director at AIESEC and current Associate Manager, Client Service Team at Dialectica
Whether you are leading a university project or a business team, there are specific practices that will help you coach your team-members effectively while also inspiring them. In my opinion, putting your people in the core of everything and managing them in the most custom and empathizing way is the key to success. You should always use your colleagues’ main interest to fuel their motivation, while setting practical goals towards achieving their dreams; daily, weekly and monthly. Effective communication, project management skills, team management and empathy are among the assets that will help you lead every team member exclusively and effectively.
At the end of the day, leadership is all about being present for others
Local Committee President at AIESEC Sherbrooke
The way I see things, a leader should be an open book for all team members. What do I mean by that? Rather than brashly demanding obedience, a leader should be both an active listener and feedback receiver, always being present for the team! Constantly answering questions, hearing out concerns, supporting in any case and proactively resolving issues will help all team members excel and grow. It goes without saying that being so supportive, both as an individual and as a professional, takes practice! That being said, I advise you to never miss out on interesting extracurricular activities, which are always a great way to hone certain skills that you would not be able to develop in your regular course load. Taking every opportunity possible to get yourself out of your comfort zone and help a mission or organization you believe in is one of the best ways to truly cultivate leadership and gain valuable life experience.