LEADERSHIP / DEC. 01, 2014
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How to Discover The Leader Within You

Despite what you might think to the contrary, there is a leader within you. Unfortunately, our natural leadership tendencies can be dampened as we progress through the education system where we’re taught to obey rules and follow instructions and this conditioning often accompanies us into the corporate world.

Here’s how to release your inner leader and perhaps open up a whole new world of opportunity for you.

Humility

Leadership begins with humility. Nobody wants to follow someone who is arrogant so you must release your humble side. Show that you are interested in people and that you want to learn from them. To do this you must become an effective listener; when people see that you are genuinely interested in them, they will reciprocate and listen to what you have to say.

SWOT

This popular business acronym stands for; Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Although it’s a management tool used by big corporations and business schools, you can use it just as effectively to develop your leadership skills.

  • Write down your Strengths, including any notable accomplishments.
  • Write down your Weaknesses and what you could improve on including fears, worries or anxieties that you have.
  • List all the Opportunities you can see for utilising your strengths.
  • Lastly, write down every Threat or obstacle that it blocking your progress or that you think may manifest itself as you pursue your dreams.

Do what you love

Great leaders are charismatic. By taking the time to do what you really love and are passionate about, you will become more alive and energised. Those around you will feel impassioned too by your infectious enthusiasm and charisma.

Have big dreams

Good leaders are larger than life personalities and they have dreams to match. It takes just the same amount of time to dream big as it does to dream small so be big and bold!

Write down the one dream or ambition you have that’s really important to you and which excites you the most. Now make a list of every single reason why you can achieve your goal, instead of worrying about why you can’t.

Vision

A clear vision of who you are and where you want to be is essential for your success as a leader-in-waiting. If you can’t visualise yourself as leading your sales team to success, it’s unlikely it will happen at all.

Take a moment each day to visualise how it will feel when you receive the top national sales award on behalf of your team from your CEO; feel the tears of pride and the tremendous sense of achievement.

Perseverance

A great leader doesn’t give up. Now that you’ve identified your dream, do something positive each day to move you a step closer to realising it.

Be true to your word

Successful leaders always keep their promises and honour their word. A good reputation for honesty and integrity is essential if you are to become the leader you want to be. Remember, a lie that takes a minute to tell will undo the trustworthiness that took years to establish.

Get a mentor

A good mentor who is already an experienced leader in your industry is worth their weight in gold. Study their behaviours and learn how they have achieved their success. In addition to mentors, study the autobiographies of leaders you admire; learn from their lives and seek to emulate aspects of their strategies for success that you most admire.

Be yourself

As you study your mentors and read about how great leaders shaped their own lives as well as those of others, you will see that everyone has their own different leadership style. You don’t have to be loud and outspoken to effectively lead a team of people to success; introverts can make great leaders too.

Don’t seek to copy people you admire ‘parrot fashion’; be yourself and strive to be the best ‘self’ that you can be, rather than a second-rate impersonator of someone else.

Be a giver

Leaders are, by nature, givers. The more you give, the more you get. Be a mentor to others and seek to help them improve and reach their goals. The best way to succeed as a leader and to get what you want is by helping people to get what they want first.

So you see, even the quietest and most reserved people have a natural leader within them. Apply yourself to these ideas and discover the leader inside you.

Image source: LiatYale

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