"The best leaders are not only highly motivated themselves, but somehow are able to radiate that positivity, igniting and mobilising positive attitudes in those around them."
We all have the opportunity to exhibit leadership: it’s
needed in all spheres of life, at all levels and in all parts of an organisation. Leaders need first to develop effective self-leadership skills. Only when they have these will they be in a position to influence the behaviour of others. A leader doesn’t walk alone but others willingly walk along with him or her.
It’s likely you will already have demonstrated leadership, whether in your day-to-day work as a researcher, on a sports field, in running a seminar series, or through involvement with a voluntary organisation. The examples in this booklet are intended to demonstrate the breadth of opportunity to lead rather than to represent exact situations in your life. Whether or not you are currently in an ‘official’ leadership role, developing your leadership
skills will make a significant contribution to your success in getting things done, forging collaborations and advancing your career.
This booklet is an introduction to leadership and you may wish to explore the topic further and apply your learning as part of your continuing professional development. Learning will need to be tailored to the specific circumstances you encounter on your journey as a leader. You will notice that throughout, we have referenced the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (www.vitae.ac.uk/rdf). The Framework is specific to researchers and has been designed as an inspirational guide to personal development and to help you to make the most of your strengths. You might use it to audit your
knowledge and attributes, to make an action plan for
development, to structure conversations with your
supervisor or line manager or to articulate evidence of the transferability of your skills when seeking employment.