Professional Development: Ask the Tough Questions to Become a Leader

To be a leader means being bold and true in your personal decisions and assuming responsibility for how you choose to spend your time in life. Leading yourself begins with knowing who you are, knowing your strengths, understanding your abilities, taking charge of your career and your future. This requires asking the right questions — the tough questions — about you.

    At the 2016 Resource Alliance International Fundraising Congress in The Netherlands, Tony Myers, CFRE, principal and senior counsel at Myers & Associates in Calgary, and Jan Kroupa, co-founder of the Czech Fundraising Centre in the Czech Republic, presented “Leadership Begins With Me!” to examine the leader in you and help you design your own plan of action and growth. What can you do to become a leader? Equally important, where do you start?

  • Record the characteristics of your most satisfying work (volunteer or paid) and other activities normally not considered work per se.
  • List the primary strengths you exercise as a professional.
  • Identify the things you want in an ideal job. If money were no object, if you were guaranteed success and have a good boss and great future and do exactly what you wanted to do, what would you be doing and what would it feel like?
  • Reflect on the worth of alignment between values and work.
  • Create your own mini leadership development plan. Ask yourself, “What is missing?” “What can I do to find what is missing?” “What are my options?” “What is my plan?” “What can I do next week?”