Being a leader is not an easy job. You’re responsible for making decisions, mentoring your staff, making sure everyone meets critical deadlines, and so much more. It takes more than wielding power to be a strong leader; you must be willing to be humble and give your people the support and credit they deserve.
Being a strong leader is about more than the bottom line. It’s not about leaving your footprint on the world, but rather giving inspiration to your people so they can grow in ways they never thought possible. It’s a tough job, and one most people underestimate, but if you’re a born leader, you have many career paths open to you.
Small Business Manager
Every business needs a leader. As a business manager, you can oversee the daily operations of any sort of business you like, from small Chick-fil-a franchises to local corporate offices. You will lead a small to medium sized team of usually less than 100 people.
Small business managers oversee daily processes, like scheduling employee shifts and making sure all projects are done on time. Managers are responsible for making sure employees are trained to do their jobs properly. They also conduct employee reviews.
Of course, salary varies widely among small business managers. Education and experience play a big role in determining salary. You don’t have to have an MBA to be a small business manger; sometimes management experience is enough to qualify you for the role.
Education Leader (Principals, Deans, and more)
If you are an educator, you can find leadership positions in your field easily. For the big ones, like principals, vice principals, and deans, you will need a graduate degree, but there are many online educational leadership degrees with solid accreditation.
Educational leadership roles are high profile. Principals become the face of the school. They communicate with the school board and the press, and they handle student disciplinary issues. They also handle employee reviews and hiring. The pay varies by school district, but it always pays more than a teaching role.
CEOs live glamorous lives on TV and in movies, but if you’re imagining living the life of Christian Grey, think again. Being a CEO is a tough job. You are the person who answers to the board of directors and the stockholders. You are the person they celebrate when profits are high, and the first head on the chopping block when profits are low. You are the face of the company to both employees and the world.
CEOs of big corporations make hundreds of thousands of dollars as their base salaries, and often bring home millions of dollars after bonuses and stock options. They spend a lot of time in meetings, and work closely with their assistants and advisors. According to Inc.com, CEOs have to play a balancing act of making as few decisions as possible in the day-to-day running of their business while they focus on the big picture and the bottom line.
While there are many introverts who become CEOs, it’s a position best suited to people who like people, and don’t mind losing sleep at night while strategizing their next move.
While politicians are the brunt of many a joke, they’re also leaders with a very hard job. They have to raise money for their campaigns, fight for the needs and wants of their voters, and somehow make ethical decisions in a world filled with personal temptations.
People from all walks of life become politicians, but we most often see lawyers, journalists, and business leaders run for office. For example, Arizona secretary of state Michele Reagan was a small business owner before becoming a politician. She uses her business connections to strengthen her campaigns and is even endorsed by the Greater Phoenix Chambers of Commerce.
Politicians’ salaries vary by area and location, but in some cases, you get to cast a vote on your salary every few years. Not many other jobs have that perk!
If you’re a born leader and you don’t want to listen to an overlord boss of any sort, you might enjoy being an entrepreneur. Starting your own business is a very hard task. You have to be part salesman, part financial strategist, and a fearless leader–all at the same time.
You can start any sort of business you want, but plan to work far more than 40 hours per week. It’s an all day, every day job for most entrepreneurs, especially in the early years.
Other Leadership Careers
Every field has leaders. Firemen have a chief. Deputies have a sheriff. Soldiers have a general. You can find a leadership role in whatever industry thrills you. The best leaders are the ones that empower their staff to make sound decisions and do their best work, but they also command respect in their own right.