“How to become a leader” is a topic worth a thought. Definition "A Leader is a person who leads or guides a group of individuals". You will not become a leader by simply calling yourself a leader, or by adding this magic word on your business card. You can be a successful manager or supervisor and never become a leader. On the other hand, you can be a regular worker that would move co-workers by the way you behave, act in challenging situations or simply by your energy and positive attitude. What do you need then to become a leader? You have to be reliable. People have to trust you and I mean trust as a mixture of respect and admiration. But how to do that? The answer is quite simple, just ask yourself who are the people you trust and admire? What do they have? What do they do? What do they represent and stand for?
How you look, move and behave - is critical; your "picture" must be consistent to be reliable. Let’s look at the most important components.
1. Your appearance
Is your walk full of energy? Do you have a sharp look and straight confident posture?
You cannot overestimate the power of body language; the way you shake hands and keep your arms when you're around people, especially someone you just met for the first time. Be interested! 2. Knowing and doing gap
Do you have vast impressive knowledge? Fantastic but it is not enough! You have to do things, not only know how to do them. Take action, implement new skills and polish them until they become your skill armour. 3. Be open minded and straight forward with a pinch of diplomacy.
Listen without judging, believe in your ideas but respect other opinions. Stand for what you believe in without offending others. Be open to new ideas and be ready to shift your gears and thinking. 4. Integrity When you work with people, integrity is everything. Keep your word. Be on time. Be responsible for your actions. Do not look for excuses and don't blame circumstances - you always have a choice how you'll respond to what have just happened. 5. Be a goal achiever Finish what you have started. Look for solutions rather than issues. Do not quit and don't be afraid of making mistakes. Remember that sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. Learn from mistakes and move forward. You are only a failure when you give up. Fight for your goal! 6. Be demanding Demand from yourself first, example must come from you, then you can demand from others. Kick yourself out from your comfort zone and do the same with your team. It is the only way to shift your thinking and to grow. Do it with smile on your face. Demand, support and reward your team. 7. Energy Fill your office with positive energy, make your team believe in your vision and include them on the journey to success. 8. Goal You have to have a goal to work towards, goal that inspires you and exposes you to new ideas. Share your goal with your team. Be excited about it and spread the positive energy on your team and give them direction they can follow.
I can call myself lucky, because in one of the former companies I worked with, we had a great leader, who was our inspiration and a great mentor to many of us – Gary O’Keeffe. He has banned the word "problem" from our office and as you read this text you will not find that word in it. To be fair, he has allowed some alternatives like "issue", "challenge" or "opportunity":) Sounds silly? Try it, it made a huge difference in our company, and it might make a change in your life too. Consider that a leader is the one that supports the team in critical moments and inspires them to reach for more. Do you inspire people? One action to take: Score yourself for each of the 8 qualities we focused on above.
Give yourself 1-10 points for each quality, when 1 is the lowest and 10 the highest. Be honest, you are doing it for yourself. Then see where you are the strongest and where the weakest. Congratulate yourself for the strongest skills and take action on the quality with the lowest score, there are your areas for improvement.
Do not wait till tomorrow, do it today and you will be one step closer to become a great leader.
Think big. If you are not sure where to start or what action to take, contact me and I'll happy to assist you.
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Thanks for reading.