Know yourself. Take time while you’re in college to discover the type of person you want to become – your values, beliefs, and work-style. A clear picture of who you want to be and the standard you want to uphold will give you a framework to make decisions. As you start to interview for jobs, consider the culture of the workplace. Put yourself in environments where you can be you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, but if you are stifled where you are or having to comprise your values, consider a change.
Make quality a non-negotiable. Hold yourself accountable to your standards and those around you (even if it’s not required). If you consistently strive for high-standards, it will become a habit. Making a habit of excellence will nurture success.
Build your expertise. Look for opportunities to expand your knowledge and add tools to your skills list. As you move into different environments and workplaces, adapt. Even after you leave college, it’s important you never stop learning. Always be a student in your area of interest.
Leverage points of differentiation. Value what makes you unique. Trust yourself to share your knowledge and experience with those around you. Great leaders share not only successes in their lives, but also failures that molded them into who they are today. Know what qualities and experiences make you different and encourage others through these qualities.
Cultivate your brand. Be a consistent representation your personal values, goals, and beliefs. Be authentic in your interactions with others. Solid leaders are people who are constantly working to improve themselves. Also, don’t forget to align your social media self with your personal brand. Your social media presentation is an extension of you. Maintain a strong identity by representing yourself well on your social media accounts.
Value and empower others. Life is about relationships. Be a person who respectfully listens and responds to the work of others. By showing others your appreciation for them, they will hold you in high regard for your humility. Remember to be sincere when demonstrating your gratefulness for others. Through the empowerment and encouragement of others, you will build up those around you. This is essential to becoming a strong leader.