Find a way to be an effective leader

On Thursday, the latest class of the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Weirton program completed what is hoped to be the first phase of their journey into becoming a greater part of their community.

Leadership Weirton is focused on taking individuals from the local business community, and helping them to learn more about local government, education, history and more. The hope is they will take what they have learned and find a way to become more involved, taking on greater roles in their work and towns.

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. There are many ways to be a leader, but the truly effective leaders are those who are able to bring out the best in others, inspiring them to succeed.

During Thursday’s graduation dinner, the class, their sponsors and guests heard from Stephen Greiner, the president of West Liberty University and a Weirton native.

Greiner revealed that it was never his plan to be a college or university president. It just kind of happened, for good or bad.

He also discussed some of the qualities he feels are needed in leadership, especially in the 21st century when we have various forms of communication available to us, and multiple generations in the workforce.

It is important to be effective in our communication, he noted, and to know how best to reach and work with each person on your team.

We’ve all known people who have been in leadership roles. They can be politicians, business managers, members of civic organizations, coaches, scout leaders, etc.

Some have been good leaders, and others not so much.

Quality leaders, at least in my opinion, are willing to get in the trenches with the rest of the group. They don’t hold themselves up as more important than others. Every person has a part to play in the organization, and they must work together to get the job done.

A good leader is simply one who finds a way to direct, and encourage, the team as part of the work. They find a way to get them to reach higher, to learn new things and to strive for greater things.

Programs such as Leadership Weirton assist in finding those quality leaders, and hopefully to inspire them to step forward and find others.

Efforts to fill the program’s 2018 class already are beginning, and I hope there are some out there who would be interested in learning more and taking part.

If not, I would encourage everyone to find something in which they are skilled, or in which they have an interest, and see how they can use that knowledge to help others.

Be a leader, whether it’s for your entire town or just a small project.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)