How To Be A Leader

As you reflect on the past year what are the things you’d like to have changed?

Maybe you feel things didn’t go exactly the way you planned. You might feel discouraged because you see others accomplishing things you wished you had.

In the daily hustle and bustle, it’s easy to have goals remain just that. Goals.

The good news is that you can step up to the plate and take action to reach your goals.

Many people are content to stand around listening to what others tell them to do. And it isn’t unusual to adopt a follow-the-leader mentality. But maybe, somewhere inside of you, you feel the desire to make things happen — to be the leader, not the follower. You want to plant your flag and own it.

Some people believe that great leaders are made, not born.

It’s true that many might be born with natural talents but without practice, without drive, without enthusiasm, and without experience, there can be no true development in leadership.

What you have to realize is that good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their natural skills. There’s a great deal of commitment involved to constantly improve in whatever endeavor you choose.

What does it mean to be a leader?

That’s the big question. In order to be a leader, one must be able to influence others to accomplish a goal or an objective. They contribute to and create a cohesive group.

Believe it or not, leadership is not about power. It is not about using fear tactics or guilt. It is about encouraging others towards their goals. It’s making sure people are on the same page and helping them see the big picture. You must be a leader, not a boss.

Your first step is to have people follow you

How exactly do you do that?

People follow others when they see a clear sense of purpose. People will only follow you if they see that you know where you are going. If you do not know where you’re headed, chances are people will not follow you. Why would they?

Know the vision

Being a leader is not about what you make others do. It’s about who you are, what you know, and what you do. You are a reflection of what you’re followers want to be.

The basis of good leadership consists of the trust and confidence factor. If others trust you, they will be more than willing to take your guidance and advice.

Trust and confidence are built on good relationships, trustworthiness, and high ethics.

The way you deal with your people, and the relationships you build is what will lay the foundation for the strength of your leadership. The stronger your relationship, the stronger their trust and confidence in your capabilities.

Once you have their trust and confidence, you need to communicate the goals and objectives you have for them.

Communication is key to good leadership. Without this, you can not be a good leader. The knowledge and expertise you have must be clearly imparted to other people.

A good leader also has to have good judgment. You must be able to assess situations, weigh the pros and cons of any decision, and actively seek out a solution.

Good decision-making is vital to the success of your business because your followers will come to rely on it.

Leaders are not do-it-all heroes. You should not claim to know everything, and you should not rely on your skills alone.

Many years ago I was given the advice that I should learn to do everything in my business myself. That was the best advice I could have received. I was never left in the lurch because I didn’t know how to do or fix something. That being said, I also knew when it was time to hire someone else. Just because I know how to do something doesn’t mean I have to. There are times when I can hand over a task to my assistant so that I can work on other money making areas of my business.

You should recognize and take advantage of the skills and talents of others as well. Only when you come to this realization will you be able to work smarter not harder.

Remember being a leader takes a great deal of work and time. It’s not learned overnight.

Pro tip: You need to also keep in mind that it is not about only you. It is about you and the people around you.

So, do you have the drive and the desire to serve as a leader? Do you have the desire to work cooperatively with other people?

Since being a leader means setting goals and accomplishing them, you need to take a look at my Goal Setting Strategies For A Spectacular Year This will put you on the fast track to being the leader you know you can be.

Originally published at medium.com

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