Name: William C Golston Jr
Title: Academic Career Advisor
Organisation: Midlands Technical College
Born and Raised in Columbia, SC, I am in pursuit of accomplishing every goal set before me. I have a mentor mentality, and I can't help but attempt to help others, something I got honestly from my mother. I hope to eventually establish a center that helps recently justice involved youth develop the soft skills they need to succeed.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope William's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Having to realize that it's important that you lead the way others need you to. You don't have to be a supervisor to be a leader, but you do have to be able to lead others in a way that maximizes them. While you are doing that, you have to maximize yourself. It's not an easy thing, but as you see others improve, it makes you all the more inspired to improve as well.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Leaders are built, not born or bought. I became a leader by learning from other leaders, then developing my own leadership style. I stay in pursuit of opportunities to lead.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I have a consistent method about what I do. I wake up, check my phone, then continue with my morning routine. Throughout the work day, I respond to emails, questions from others and tasks from my supervisors, conduct appointments, and wrap up my day with either homework or exercise before going to bed.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
I've learned that just because you don't have a leadership title, it shouldn't hinder you from taking a leadership role. Many of my coworkers ask me questions and even come to me just to talk, because they know that if I have an answer or not, I'll say something that will make a difference. That's the goal for me; to continue to display characteristics of leadership though I may not yet be in a leadership position as far as title.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I've read many books that have impacted how I try to lead. Probably one of the most impactful was a book written by Dr. Thomas Friedman about emotional intelligence. It has helped me to be more in tune with the emotional side of dealing with people, which has only helped my leadership ability to grow by leaps and bounds.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Deal with people where they are. Don't try to bring someone to a place they aren't ready to go. Meeting people where they are is the most effective way to help them grow beyond their own expectations. It allows you to be relatable to them, and shows that you are willing to truly help them become the best version of themselves. It also shows that you aren't so self-absorbed that you won't do what it takes to help them rise to where they can be.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I was working in Juvenile Justice, and I was teaching young men how to write their names in cursive. Like it was such a wild and humbling experience to see how teaching them something so simple made a difference to them. This is an example of leadership to me because I took the initiative to teach these young men something that wouldn't have learned otherwise. It is probably one of my 5 greatest professional achievements.