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What it Means to Be a Leader

Originally published: 03.01.17 by Patti Ellingson

What it Means to Be a Leader

Leadership is not a position or a title; it is action and example. That being said, leadership styles are very different for each person, just like a personality. One thing I believe and practice is with every successful leader is PASSION — loving what you do. A leader’s passion is contagious. When others see you love what you do, they want to be a part of the positive movement.

I love this industry, the vast potential at every level and I love being an advocate and mentor with the Women in HVACR organization.

People like to work with and be around positive peopl and when encouraged for their ideas they are empowered to be successful too.

Most leaders do not set out to be a leader, they set out to make a difference in their job, organization, community or group of friends and family.

I am a firm believer that you must love what you do — find your passion in your job in your life. I have found my passion in this industry and I love being an advocate for both men and women in HVACR.

I hope that by sharing my passion, my experience, my knowledge I encourage both men and women to succeed within this incredible industry.

My advice for personal skills to enhance your leadership and to continue to be a successful leader are:

Read. Read. Read. I cannot say this enough. Reading is the best way to stay informed, to learn and to grow as a leader.

Keep Learning. No matter what, learn new ways to do things, to see things and learn from the next generation. Keep an open mind.

Mentor and be Mentored. A very great leader has a mentor/friend/confidant that they learn from and confide in.

Journal. As a success skill, write down your goals. Keep them close and visualize them — what you want, how you plan to achieve them. Read them and re-read them.

Being a leader is never a role. It’s about a goal. By achieving your personal goals, you lead by example and others will be inspired to follow you.

Many years ago, when I first joined this industry working for Flanders Filters, I learned from a colleague and manager that more than anything, people will go above and beyond for you if you encourage their ideas, acknowledge their contributions, give them a direction and let them shine on their own.

These are the skills that I incorporate in my daily career, and I am thankful every day for the opportunity to learn from a strong and successful leader like Harry Smith.

About Patti Ellingson

Patti Ellingson has an extensive background in sales, business development and marketing within the HVACR industry since 1993. She is director of sales for the HVACR Industrial Division at Cooper-Atkins Corp. In addition, she is a past-president of Women in HVACR, and serves on the association’s advisory board. Please visit for additional information.

Articles by Patti Ellingson

What it Means to Be a Leader

When others see you love what you do, they want to be a part of the positive movement.
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