My students learn during their very first class in our Organizational Leadership program that being an effective leader doesn’t hinge on a formal title. In fact, we highlight that anyone at any level of an organization can be a great leader as long as individuals develop the necessary skills. However, if anyone can lead, why are organizations still faced with a leadership shortage? According to the Center for Creative Leadership (2015), likely reasons for this shortage are due to challenges stemming from retiring baby boomers, changes in the way work is conducted (e.g., increased reliance on technology), and issues with developing current employees into skilled leaders. Luckily, you, our HR Professional, are in a unique position to help solve these leadership challenges and this edition is intended to help you do so. In this edition, our contributors give us insight and advice on how to attract future leaders, develop employees into leaders, how leaders can motivate their employees, and even dive into the neuroscience behind leadership development!
Of course, not only do you play important parts in establishing and maintaining systems that foster leadership within your organizations, but you also take on various leadership roles yourself. For instance, think about the last time you had to create buy-in for a new system or when you had to guide and motivate your own team members in their work. In each of these cases, you’ve positively influenced organizational constituents or, in other words, you demonstrated leadership skills. I’m sure you can think of many other acts of leadership you exhibit on a daily basis (and if not, let’s talk. You’re probably doing more than you think!). We also know that self-awareness is vital for leaders and leadership development. So, as you read the articles in this edition, think about whether you can personally take away any tips to enhance your own leadership skills. Enjoy!
Katrina (“Katie”) Piccone Merlini, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Industrial/ Organizational (I/O) Psychology and the Academic Chair of the Organizational Leadership MA program at Florida Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on leadership, diversity and inclusion, organizational culture and climate, and individual motivation and selfregulation. She is a member of South Brevard SHRM.