You’re a leader. You may have yet to accept that fact but the reality remains unchanged. How can I say that honestly without even knowing you? Because everyone leads. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, you lead in some fashion everyday.
Obviously the quality of leading differs from person to person. Some lead poorly, resorting to violence and intimidation, and others embrace the good of humanity to create a positive path of growth.
I sincerely believe that anyone can learn to become a great leader. Though it won’t come easy. Quality leadership takes time, requires, patience, determination, and passion. I’ve Â writtenÂ a simple guide that I hope will help start you on becoming the leader you want to be.
Believe In What You Preach
If you’re passionate about what you talk about the more people are willing to take notice of what you have to say. Seems obvious right? Yet, I can’t tell you how many people pretend they care about something when it’s inherently obvious they could careless.
Ever notice how Everett Bogue is taking the minimalist movement by storm? It’s because he actually lives a minimalist life. Because of his leadership, hundreds of people are learning to let go of the materialism that binds them.
Having recently had coffee with Everett, I could tell he was the real deal. It seems others think so too.
If you want people to respect you for the leader you are, you sure as heck need to stand behind something you truly believe in.
Bring Out The Best
Good leaders have the uncanny ability to bring out the best in the people that believe in them. Why are some sports coaches able to create a champion team in less than a year? Because they find out what makes drivesÂ individualsÂ on the team.
Quality leaders make people feel good about themselves because when people feel good about what they are capable of doing, they are more likely to get involved. Sometimes exceptional leadership calls for challenging people in uncomfortable ways, but it’s always about bringing out the best in everyone involved.
Tim Brownson, coauthor of How To Rich And Happy and kick ass life coach, knows that the more people believe in themselves, the better off the world will be. That’s why he’s so dedicated in helping less fortunate individuals discover the life that they never knew they could have.
Whether it be at work or at home there is always ways in which you can bring out the best in those around you. See a coworker struggling? Remind them how well they did last quarter. Family member feeling lost? Point them in a direction to help get them back on path. You don’t have have help a large group of people to make a difference, just the small few who need it. Small movements matter.
We all know the importance of listening. Yet it is a skill that many need to continue to work on (myself included.) Don’t go into a conversation thinking you know more, instead go into it as if you’re a student. By listening deeply you’ll be able to pick up some great ideas and discover what makes people move.
How do you think Gary Vaynerchuck has reached the point he is today? Do you think it’s because he was obsessed with himself? No, it’s because he puts the hours in to just listen. He’s famously known for his gigantic following on Twitter, and routinely responds to the thousands of people who comment him. Because of this, he has gained the respect of millions all over the world.
Without listening, leadership doesn’t exist, because without listening you’re just “that damn boss.” By listening you show that it’s not just about you and that you genuinely care about the good of all those involved.
By listening, you tell those who follow that you care. And people like knowing they are cared for.
Keep Your Word
Make a promise? Keep it. Tell someone you’ll help out? Make sure you don’t bail. Keeping your word though simple, has a huge impact on how people perceive you.
I’m sure you know of someone who constantly promises the world yet never shows up. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been that person myself. Though I’m much more reliable than I use to be, I still have a ways to go, and that just shows that learning to be a good leader takes hard work.
One of the simplest ways to keep your word is to reduce the commitments you make. In an age in which we are meant to “over deliver”, it’s easy to commit to way to much. Instead of falling down that path, only partake in what you know you can do to the best of your ability. It’s OK to mess up every now and again, but fall back on your promises one to many times and you’ll suffer the consequences.
Lose The Title
Leading doesn’t require that you have a fancy title. Great leaders view themselves as everyone else. Don’t put yourself on a pedestal to be worshipped. Instead just show that you care.
Obviously with great leadership comes power, but letting power go to your head only hinders your ability to really lead. By losing the title you show it’s more about the idea than it is about you, which encourages people to believe and do their best.
Exceptional leadership brands itself. You don’t need to have a title to be known as someone who gets things done.
Befriend Imperfection and Embrace Transparency
A good leader knows they won’t be on top of their game all the time. They admit when they come up short as to show they are human. They are transparent because they know that in being so they garner more respect. They don’t put a false persona up because they know, just like everyone else, they mess up. Imperfection is fuel.
It’s safe to to assume many of you know the likes of Steve Pavlina. Whether you like his lifestyle choices or not, it’s no secret he’s very transparent in what he does. He openly admits his mistakes and fears.
Leading doesn’t mean you know everything. There are many leaders who aren’t nearly as smart as those they are leading. The difference is they know how to use the resources they’ve been given.
There’s a study that shows the sales of two cooking commercials. One infomercial had a gorgeous host with a spotless reputation and a perfectly executed meal. The other commercial though similar, involved a more average looking host, and her slipping up when cooking the meal. Surprisingly the second commercial out sold the first commercial significantly. Why? Because people like imperfection.
Admirable leaders know perfection isn’t possible but aiming for greatness is good enough.
Becoming A Leader
You may not command the attention of millions of people over your life time. Your name may not be etched in the history books. You may only be known to a select few. But that doesn’t mean you won’t goÂ unnoticed. Work your way to the place you want to reach.
People are looking to be lead. Problems need to be solved.Â Leaders aren’t born they are made. Isn’t it time you begin?