How to Be an Effective Leader As an Individual Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

Braille Institute of America’s former president, Les Stocker, asked his friend and world-renowned architect, Gin Wong, to name the single most important skill necessary to be effective in his field. Expecting to hear computer or design skills, Stocker was surprised to hear Wong’s response: leadership skills.

Wong emphasized the importance of a leader selling a concept. A leader casts a vision and assembles a team in order to accomplish what he could not accomplish on his own.

That brings us to the question, what makes an effective leader?

An effective leader demonstrates personal responsibility, decision-making capabilities, an ability to relate well to others, and effective communication skills. A good leader also maintains a positive attitude, delegates responsibilities, and sets goals.

To improve your leadership skills, begin by assessing your strengths and shortcomings in the aforementioned areas. Ask a few trusted individuals to provide feedback for you. Gather information on your areas of weakness and establish personal goals to improve the lacking skills.

Learning and practicing these skills will serve you well in many aspects of your life. Simply eating at a restaurant requires decision making, relating well to others, and effective communication. In the work realm, your role as an employee or employer will be far more successful and effective with well-developed leadership abilities.

Teachers or professionals working with students who are blind or visually impaired can utilize the Leadership Training lesson series. In addition, the AFB CareerConnect Our Stories section offers many stories about successful people who are blind or visually impaired. Many of these individuals have proven leadership skills.

Thank you to the Hadley’s School for the Blind’s podcast, Time Management and Personal Effectiveness, for the information on Les Stocker and Gin Wong.