In recognition of Edgewood Chemical Biological Center's November Leadership Month, a special blog series featuring ECBC employee responses on what it takes to be an effective leader will be featured on the blog throughout the month of November. This third installment features Jarell Johnson, Computer Scientist for the Product Data Management Branch of the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC).
The term “leader” is used generously these days to signify someone in a leadership role, but there is much more to being a true leader. I believe that a true leader is someone who does not seek followers. Leaders want to teach others how to be leaders. They enlighten, enable and empower their employees. A true leader guides, but does not dictate to people.
Leaders should have the ability to motivate those who are underperforming to do well and to help those who are doing well to continue to excel. Effective leaders are open-minded and have a willingness to listen to others' ideas even if they do not agree. Leaders have faith in their employees and acknowledge that they cannot do everything and must work with others to achieve the overall goal.
Leaders should lead by example. Leading by example is at the core of leadership discipline and some consider it is the ultimate test of a leader's character. If you can talk the talk to your employees, you must be prepared to walk the walk, because employees look to their leaders for cues. When it comes time to take credit, leaders make themselves invisible, and give their workforce the chance to shine. Although I have not been in the workforce as long as others, I have had exceptional leadership while working at ECBC. Often my immediate supervisor offers advice and suggestions for programs that he believes will further my knowledge and career at ECBC. His selflessness and desire for me to one day become a leader and further my career, exemplify the attributes of a true leader.
Jarell Johnson is a Computer Scientist in ECBC’s Engineering Directorate on the Product Data Management Branch. Johnson is a native of Port Allen, La and a graduate of Southern University A & M College.
The content in this blog entry does not represent the views or beliefs of ECBC, its employees, its management or the federal government.