What does the word “leader” mean to you?
For some, it conjures up an image of a CEO of a large company. Others think of parents or guardians. Or perhaps the spokesperson for a social issue.
To be a leader, you don’t have to be a household name or have a title. Everyone is a leader in some context in their life. And learning how to be a more effective leader is within everyone’s grasp.
You see, being a real leader has little to do with the things many people associate with leadership. Things like fame and ego.
No, real leadership has to do with courage, helping others feel inspired, and a commitment to create something that is bigger than yourself.
Even if you’re already considered a leader, you can get better at it. The more effective you are at leading people, the greater the perks. Effective leaders are rare and therefore always in constant demand.
So what is an effective leader?
√ Effective leaders inspire you. They look inside and bring the best of you to the surface. They cause you to look at the higher side of your own personality.
√ Effective leaders are willing to address an issue, voice a belief, stand up for themselves or others, or express an unpopular opinion.
√ An effective leader is someone who knows where he/she is going and is able to persuade others to go along. People follow real leaders because they want to.
If you want to become a more effective leader, here are some characteristics to consider cultivating:
• Authenticity. Leaders live in alignment with their values. They know what they most authentically want for their life, and they have a genuine interest in helping others develop and succeed.
• Self-starter. Effective leaders don’t have to be asked to get the job done. They can get their fires burning without depending on external stimuli.
• Humility. The last person you want to be around is the person who is full of himself. Billy Graham once said, “The smallest package in the world is a man all wrapped up in himself.”
• Emotional control. There is nothing wrong with blowing off steam once in a while. It’s the loss of control that ruins the impact of many great leaders.
• Humor. Humor attracts people, and making others laugh a little is a definite asset.
• Positive attitude. People are attracted to positive people. Who wants to follow someone who’s always in a foul mood or is always thinking doom and gloom? Instead, in a dark and negative world, the positive leader shines and draws others to him- or herself.
Being a leader means creating the life you truly want to live and inspiring others to do the same. You’re more than capable of being an effective leader in one or more areas of your life.
If you’d like to develop your leadership skills, make a point of practicing some or all of the traits listed above until they become a part of you.
To your success,