Why Leadership? Why do you want to step up and lead? Is it to serve? To be the “boss”? To be the person with all the responsibility? Or is there another reason you want to lead?
You don’t have to be leading an army or a country to benefit from leadership skills. Learning these skills can help you become a better person and a leader in your own areas of expertise, and they can be learned outside of the workplace as well as within an organisation.
Characteristics of a True Leader
- Leaders are learners – Leaders are constantly learning new and innovative ways of doing things. That also means leaders are open to constructive criticism and changing harmful habits.
- Creates momentum – A leader must be moving forward at all times. When you create momentum in yourself and your team, you lead people who are poised to reach the finish line to success.
- Impeccable ethics and morals – When you apply ethical and moral standards to your methods of leadership, you’ll respect others’ rights and dignity. Those you lead will also develop ethical and moral standards.
- Ability to communicate – You can’t present yourself as a savvy leader unless you know how to communicate well with others. Communication is a two-way street – people must hear and understand you before you can communicate your views. Leaders start with listening.
- Magnet to others – If you want to attract and lead others, become the person who appeals to them through actions, visions and viewpoints. Like-minded people are naturally attracted to each other, so if you project the type of person you want to attract, you’ll have a successful team.
- Be accountable – Take responsibility for every action you choose and every choice you make. The old saying, “The buck stops here,” is true for all leaders, whether you’re the coach of a team or the president of a company.
- Encourage creativity – When you’re leading a group, always encourage your members of the team to spread their wings and become a creative contributor.
- Have a profound interest in others – Part of becoming a great communicator and being able to lead others means that you must be interested in what other people are all about. Even the person you perceive to be uninteresting might surprise you and teach you something.
- Knows how to prioritise – To complete any worthwhile venture, it’s important to prioritize and set goals. Without goal setting, projects aren’t completed satisfactorily, if at all, and chaos is bound to occur.
However you’re drawn to leadership, the next question you need to ask yourself is how resilient are you? An emerging leader you need to start looking at your resilience as well as your communication skills.
No matter how great a listener you are, no matter how confident you are in your communications if you’re not resilient you’ll fall at the first hurdle.
Find out how to become a resilient leader here