How to Step Up and Be a Leader

Jan 13, 2016 | Stories of the Greats | 0 comments

As I was thinking about writing this column for SUCCESS—my first as Leadership Editor—I wondered how some people become leaders in the first place. What makes one person step forward to hone those skills when others don’t?

In my case, there might have been a few signs in my childhood. We lived in Georgia, way out in the country, and I was my own best playmate. I had to be creative! I couldn’t get on my bicycle and ride over to visit the kid next door. He was too far away. So I developed the ability to be absolutely fine by myself. To this day I still have it. I travel by myself, I have dinner by myself, but most important, I am comfortable with myself.

That was very helpful when my own path toward leadership became clear. Twenty-six years ago I worked at a financial services company, A.L. Williams & Associates, which was renamed and underwent a host of other changes before, eventually, I went on to serve as co-CEO. In 1989 our company was sold to Citigroup, which was then headed by Wall Street wonders Sandy Weill and Jamie Dimon, and it was a big sea change for us. Suddenly we were owned by these guys from New York who really didn’t know anything about our business.

Read more about how I stepped up to be a leader: http://www.success.com/blog/john-addison-how-i-stepped-up-to-be-a-leader

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