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Leading the Way to a Humane World: 4 Keys to Leadership Development

Posted on: December 28th, 2020

Creating a more humane world calls for leadership. But how do you stay at the forefront of a movement that’s full of challenges and rife with burnout? The answer is in lifelong learning. Lifelong learning not only keeps you up-to-date on the best practices in leadership and animal welfare, but it also keeps your inner spark lit. When you want to become a more effective leader and changemaker, the following four areas are a great place to start.

Learning How to Lead

Whether you’re leading a Fortune 500 company or a small nonprofit like the Zoology Foundation, leadership requires management ability. From managing projects to managing people and animals, leaders need the skills necessary to run an effective organization.

Where can you learn those skills? These online courses are a great place to start:

At the Zoology Foundation, we pride ourselves on our leadership skills. We encourage these skills in every team member, not just the team lead and general manager. Every team member has important experiences and knowledge to share. For this reason, we consider everyone a leader in their area of expertise.

For example, our vet tech, Meg, has taught other team members how to properly assess the health of the animals in order to determine whether vet care is needed, give injections, and clean wounds. Through these health workshops, she has become a leader among the team for health and veterinary related issues. Another team member, our animal care technician Paula, is working on creating a new enrichment plan for Zoology Foundation. Not only is she researching and creating the materials in order to implement the new program, but she will also be introducing it to the rest of the team, getting their feedback, and evaluating to make sure the implementation goes smoothly. This will require leadership skills.

Giving everyone the opportunity to sharpen their skills, feel like they’re heard, and making a difference makes them feel empowered. This makes our small team extremely strong! While we don’t offer a formal course in leadership, any of our team members would be happy to speak with you about techniques that have improved our management skills among our team members.

Becoming a Better Teacher

speaker addressing a group in a teaching and training capacityThe scenarios described above show that teaching can be an important part of being a good leader. As a leader in creating a humane world, you’re also in charge of educating people about issues surrounding animal welfare and the environment. However, educating others requires more than knowledge. These tips will help you become a more impactful teacher:

Building Strong Relationships

You can’t grow as a leader if you’re not adept at building relationships and alliances. The right connections not only further your own professional development, they also help you achieve your vision. However, relationship building skills are among the hardest to master. To expand your network and your mission, here’s what you need to do:

Preventing Compassion Fatigue

Part of lifelong learning for leaders in the animal welfare world is learning how to avoid compassion fatigue. While there will always be difficult times when you’re working for a better world, these strategies keep you and your team’s heads above water:

Leadership starts with passion, but it doesn’t end there. As a leader, you’re also responsible for strategy, education, and mobilization if you want to achieve your vision. With these resources, you can enhance your leadership skills and take your mission to the next level.

This post was written Sean Morris as a guest blogger for our website. Sean left his job as a social worker to spend more time with his kids. Today, he writes for LearnFit in his spare time.



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