What makes a good leader

In the News Young Professionals
Juli Buehler

“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”


And Vince Lombardi would know best. He never had a losing season in the NFL.


So what traits do news directors recognize in their leaders? Juli Buehler is News Director at WLUK-TV FOX 11 News in Green Bay. She helps us uncover the answer.


I reached out because I think for young staff members emerging as the leader they want to be can sometimes be intimidating— especially in a newsroom with veteran or senior staff.


Buehler highlighted three areas: Creativity, a desire to always learn, and the ‘buy-in’.


“I think creativity is one of the most important traits of a new or future leader. The creativity to work a story, add that extra graphic, write that compelling lead sentence … all combine to set an individual’s work apart from the crowd,” she explained.


She said journalists should look at every assignment as an opportunity.


“Sometimes in a desire to lead, individuals forget that important aspect of learning,” Buehler said.


“When we hire new journalists it is important to realize that the individual has a great deal to learn every day – from everyone in the newsroom. Don’t close yourself off to guidance or assistance, because you think you need to lead and that leaders know it all. That is far from the case.”


She said good leaders are good learners.


Lastly, she explained individuals who are supportive of colleagues and the strategic mission of the newsroom will rise to the top.


“Someone who understands the brand and why the newsroom operates the way it does — and not “fight” the system simply to do so. Mentoring is an important part of newsrooms these days as more and more ‘newly minted journalists’ join newsrooms of all market sizes. It is important to “buy-in” to the newsroom’s strategic goals. It is important to “buy-in” to where you are working. Support your colleagues and the brand goals. Serve your community.”

Heather Poltrock, WSAW-TV, Wausau