Throughout this summer it has become increasingly apparent that being a leader is not solely expected of senior people, but rather it is something that people throughout the organization can do. In an industry with very clear hierarchy i.e. analyst, associate, vice president, etc. I thought that people would follow a relatively clear rank and order protocol from the top down, yet I have since realized that while the titles are there for a reason people can interact on teams in ways as a leader and often “play up” to roles with responsibilities greater than what they would normally have as say an analyst. This does not happen by chance though, rather it is typically the self starters and hard workers that seem to find themselves playing more senior roles, and some of the most important of these roles is being a good leader in team situations.
Being a good leader is so much more than a title, in fact a title won’t get a person very far if others recognize that they are not a good leader. In finance I believe that the best leaders are also by association great team players. With many projects going on at the same time it is important that a person is organized and able to provide succinct support to a senior person in a fast manner when he or she needs it. Being prepared and able to act fast makes for a good player, but being able to anticipate the next request and act on it before someone asks can make a person invaluable. With that in mind the next step to becoming a good leader is being able to bring out the best in teammates and allowing them to play on their strengths to advance the goals of the team.
One of the reasons why I enjoy this industry so much is because people are afforded the opportunities to be great team players and exhibit their desire to be leaders as well. I have always been very interested in leadership and I am glad that I have been able to see first-hand that even junior colleagues are able to play above their level and inspire others who might be senior to them. Personally, I have tried to bring out the best in fellow interns and be a positive force when work becomes complicated or a day drags on. I know that sometimes I am going to be on the other sides of those situations and I appreciate the fact the my colleagues are there for me just like I try to be there for them.