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Leveraging your leadership strengths

Despite what many may believe, people are not born leaders.


Learning to lead, especially in the business world, is something that can be taught.


“In most organizations, especially in small businesses, we assume people will just figure it out and they don’t,” says Murray Smith, Principal of The Achievement Centre (TAC).  The centre has a mandate to assist business organizations in creating a planning strategy and then providing leadership development to achieve those goals.


Murray will bring his expertise in this field to our next YIP Growth Learning Series session – entitled ‘Being an Authentic Leader’ - in February.


During this two-hour session, Murray will focus on several areas related to leadership including communication, trust, and development.


“In training development, we always put an emphasis on technical training,” he says. “We don’t do much on what it means to lead people and train people on the human side of the business and it’s a big failing.”


Murray says in many professions, continuing education is a major requirement but not for many businesses.


“The human side of the business is the most expensive and it has the most impact,” he says, noting it can be tough for those handed leadership roles in smaller organizations.


“You switch from being the buddy on Friday to the boss on Monday and suddenly the dynamic changes.”


Murray says in these situations, quite often employees will ‘test’ their new boss to see what their boundaries are, which a new leader may not be expecting due to their previous relationship as co-workers.


“Often the response from the brand-new supervisor or leader is very defensive and they become very bossy,” he says. “It’s a distinctive defence mechanism because we didn’t train them (new leaders) and didn’t help them through that learning curve.”


Murray says many organizations have a ‘blind spot’ when it comes to leadership training, assuming it’s something new leaders can learn on the job, which isn’t the case.


“Most small business owners are entrepreneurs who don’t have an MBA, or a HR degree,” he says. “Most of us have energy, passion and drive, but that doesn’t make us good business leaders.”


Through his discussion, Murray hopes participants at this YIP learning session will get a better understanding of their own strengths and leverage them to be better leaders.


“Be the leader you are, don’t try to be another leader,” he says.


‘Being an Authentic Leader’ will take place Thursday, Feb. 13 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce office. The session is sponsored by Deluxe Payroll.


For information, or to register, please visit:

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Brian Rodnick
September 24, 2020
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Lisa Durocher
September 14, 2018
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