Being a leader is more than just giving orders and ensuring employees complete their work on time and with a high level of quality. Leadership entails motivating your team and being a driving force of positivity and inspiration. Mark Gerardot, the Creative Director for AMResorts in Philadelphia, PA, is the type of leader who leads by example and never fails to set the bar high while also encouraging his team to go above and beyond. Mark possesses over 20 years of experience in the marketing industry and has proven himself time and time again, not only as a marketing and branding expert but as someone who truly cares about the work he does as well.
It is increasingly rare to find a person who genuinely loves their work and looks forward to the challenges they may face each day. Mark Gerardot is one of those few and has inspired those who work with him to love the work as well. Mr. Gerardot began his career in the graphic design field and quickly transformed this skill into a career in branding and marketing. Before finding his niche in the online marketing for the travel sector, Mark accrued years of experience in marketing for corporate real estate and publishing.
In 2001, Mark Geradot decided to focus on marketing for travel and tourism. He co-founded Gerardot & Co. and worked as the Creative Director for ten years. While in this position, Mark led all of the branding strategy efforts and earned over $6 million in new business. Also, Mr. Gerardot launched a boutique hotel brand that garnered international press from prestigious organizations such as Time, Conde Nast Traveler, and National Geographic. A natural-born leader, Mark used his superior skills to lead a team of architects to design branded restaurants, and retail spaces to enhance customer experiences and also led an entire group of designers, developers, writers, and marketing strategists to make his vision a reality.
Once the economy took a downward turn, Mark Gerardot decided to leave the business to focus on assisting higher education clients with their branding needs. He accepted a position as Creative Director with Up&Up, where he helped carve out their niche and transformed the company into one of the top five higher education agencies in the United States. After getting a taste for helping expand the reach of higher education agencies, Mark realized that he was equally as passionate about this cause as he was travel, and served in this capacity for six years. Mark Gerardot then spent six months working for the University of Delaware, where he increased student enrollment and awareness via the creation of branding and marketing materials.
Mark Gerardot feels inspired every day because he has the luxury of doing what he loves. He always has the opportunity to challenge himself creatively both in written form and visually. Mark hopes he can inspire others to find a career they love the way he did, no matter if their passions lie in exploring, learning and recharging by visiting new places; or if their ultimate desire is to pursue higher education. Either way, Mark’s work in both sectors serves as a guiding light to assist others in their decision-making processes.
Above all else, Mark Gerardot aims to entertain with his work and provide an authentic experience regardless of what his team is marketing. He believes customers deserve honesty, value, and authenticity. Mark creates brands that a person can be proud to stand beside. He is a prime example of what it means to lead by example and will continue to inspire others through his work and incredible leadership.
Recently, Mark Gerardot published his book, Irreparable. In this true crime drama, Mark shares his insight into the tragedy that has become his life. Learn more at MarkGerardotBook.com
Most employees are looking for ways to utilize their leadership skills in the workplace to advance their careers. Instead of looking for another job to enhance these skills, an employee can develop their leadership role by helping others and looking for solutions to problems. Employees who show qualities and traits others aspire to have are leaders whether their job title expresses this position or not. Whether they want to move up to a more supervisory role or help co-workers – there are several ways to expand on skills, including team motivation, communication, and delegation of responsibilities.
Great leaders know how to inspire other workers and help build self-esteem. This might be through rewards and recognition or allowing employees to increase their responsibilities. An employee can express leadership skills by assessing the interests of staff and being open to concerns. Recognizing productive and challenging work tasks is another way to motivate other employees. Setting goals and rewarding employees who meet their goals will help build and advance leadership skills.
Employees who are great communicators are an asset to their company. Whether they communicate verbally or in writing, understanding how to clearly explain projects and goals is essential. Leaders can exhibit these skills through active listening and facilitating group conversations. Not only is it necessary to communicate with clarity and reduce ambiguity, but employees should also read body language and facial expressions to make sure others are comprehending the material.
Staff members who are overloaded with work cannot be effective leaders. When demonstrating leadership skills, it is better to delegate tasks to several employees with the skills and talents to complete the project. Understanding an employee’s strengths and weakness allows a leader to offer specific jobs to each person and then acknowledge and reward performance and outcome. Great leaders can prioritize tasks and utilize time management while trusting their employees to complete the work on schedule.
Leadership takes practice and taking on more responsibility and initiative helps develop those skills making the workplace run more smoothly. Recognizing deficiencies and helping to create plans to address them show dedication and a willingness to be part of the solution. Anytime an employee can help a business work more efficiently shows problem-solving skills and a desire to move forward and upward towards a leadership position.
Leadership is, more than anything, a set of personal disciplines. After all, the most inherent meaning of leader is simply someone who goes first. Leadership is not dependent on title or rank but rather behavior. The truth is, anyone can be a leader. At its deepest root, leadership is exhibiting certain traits and skills that make others want to follow your example, generally to achieve the same results that those traits and abilities brought you. Long before leaders become leaders, they typically develop specific characteristics and skills that help them excel once they achieve a position of leadership. Here are three tips for developing leadership skills in your everyday life.
- Speak up
Any time you speak, particularly in a group setting, it puts all the attention on you. This can be a very vulnerable position to be in, which is why so many do not speak up. When you speak up, you make yourself vulnerable to criticism and possibly even attack but also change never comes without individuals standing up and speaking up. Whether it is sharing a new idea or criticizing current policies, a leader has to learn how to be at the center of controversy and manage it well.
How successful you are when you speak up is going to be mostly dependent on how well you listened before you did it. If you repeat what someone else has said, you will look like a fool. If you express the sentiments everyone else is thinking but have the tact not to say, you will look like a buffoon. If you dare to say the thing that needs to be said, but no one else wants to say, you will gain the respect of your peers and in some cases, even your superiors.
- Always have a goal to pursue
Movement is at the very heart of leadership. People can’t follow a parked car. The goal itself does not matter but having one does. Your goals can be personal, professional, or even “frivolous” as long as you are chasing hard after them. Whether it is mastering the highest level of your favorite video game or increasing sales by 30% over the next quarter, goals give you purpose, direction, and almost palpable energy that others want to feel.
Personality plays a large part in influencing many aspects of life, and leadership style is no exception. It is important, however, to note how gendered expectations impact development and personality preferences, which then influence one’s leadership style. In recent years, the word “bossy” has almost become a damning term for girls and women. By labeling them “bossy,” many women end up suppressing their natural inclination towards positive leadership traits in favor of conforming to stereotypes and expectations that don’t necessarily work with who they really are as people.
Leadership styles tend to correlate to a person’s Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type. The majority in leadership positions show a preference for Thinking and Judging (as opposed to Feeling and Perceiving), according to research done by CPP, Inc. Characteristics of Thinking types include being analytical, logical, and reasonable; Judging types are regarded as organized, systematic, and decisive.
When the personality types are left to develop within their natural preferences, leadership characteristics have the potential to develop in the best possible way. People who grow up expected to conform to specific behaviors may never get to grow into their “best self,” and with regards to leadership style, they may even develop behaviors that will work against them.
Women with the MBTI preference for Thinking tend to be viewed as “aggressive,” as Patrick Kerwin observed in True Type Tales. This comes from a cultural bias for women with the preference towards Feeling. In many instances, when people act out of line with the expectations, often set by their family and environment, they are met with disapproval. In some cases, their personality preferences manifest in an underdeveloped manner because they’ve never had the opportunity to fully explore and develop them.
Honing one’s leadership style requires self-awareness, and a good place to start is with psychometric assessments like the MBTI personality test. These assessments can provide a qualitative analysis of your personality traits that influence your leadership style and ability. They may reveal insights on how you think, act, socialize, etc, that can form your starting framework on identifying your personality type. Once this foundation has been established, developing a style that reflects your personality type will help you to act with confidence and vision. Furthermore, from this framework, you can build on other pillars of effective leadership, such as communication and work relationships.