When we think of a great leader, it’s easy to assume that they are born with some magical form of genius, or some other quality that they naturally possess.
It’s understandable why so many people rest on the assumption that good leaders are born that way. The thought gives us comfort.
It is more comforting to look at people like Steve Jobs or Barack Obama and kid ourselves that they’re magical and gifted with a power that we will never understand. That absolves us of the responsibility that comes from the belief that we could also be an equally great leader.
Learn To Be A Leader
So what does it take to be a leader? While it may be true that some people possess more natural ability towards leadership, everything about leadership can be learned.
The reality is, no one is born with outstanding leadership skills. Think of leadership qualities as being like a muscle that needs to be strengthened. And we all have the potential to activate these skills, but many people make a choice not to.
Being a leader, like many things, is something you get better at it with practice.
One of the critical features of a leader is leading by example. Our society has gotten too used to the idea that leaders simply bark orders at people.
Follow Those Orders
They expect people to follow those orders without the willingness to do the tasks themselves.
Leaders need to be the captains of the ship and be willing to go down with the ship.
Another role of a leader is to take responsibility for your actions. Don’t pass the blame onto others.
If you assume or accept a leadership role, then you will be looked upon to guide those you lead. Own up to your mistakes and figure out alternative courses of action when needed.
A leader should also have a vision for their organisation. You should know what you are trying to accomplish and figure out how you are going to get there.
Captain Of The Ship
To continue with the captain of the ship analogy, you need to map out a route to take the ship.
When you are leading others, you need to display confidence. When people view you as a confident leader, they will do whatever you ask of them.
There is a difference between confidence and arrogance. Be careful not to confuse the two even though they sometimes can cross.
With leadership, you are allowed to make mistakes. It is how they recover from those mistakes that defines their ability to lead.
Face Up To It
If you hide from the problem, you will lose the confidence that others have placed in you. Face up to the adversity of the situation and figure out how to handle it.
This can require some tough decisions, but that is part of the role of the leader.
Leaders should listen to the people they are leading. If you take the approach that you are always right, you will set the stage for a group of yes people.
What this means is you will need to be responsible for every decision, even the ones that you thought you were delegating. Hire the right people and let them do their jobs.
Listen to their concerns. Listening to others does not imply caving into their demands. You merely need to take what others say into consideration.
That Small Voice
Reflect for a moment. You’ve taken time out of your day to read this because there’s something in you that knows you can be a better leader. And you want to learn how to become one.
Credit goes to you, you are an achiever. Listen to that small voice inside your head encouraging you to dream a little bigger and hope a little higher. Give thanks for that voice, because it’s right.
Learning how to be a good leader is well within your reach. It’s merely a matter of learning what skills and qualities make an outstanding leader and how to apply them to your own life.