I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who tell me, that they are not leadership material, or who believe that leaders are born rather than made.
Our beliefs have a significant impact on outcome, especially our negative beliefs, When we have thoughts such as these, they are really going to impact our ability to be a leader.
I understand that not everyone wants to be a leader, or that we can’t all be great leaders, but we can definitely all be leaders. Especially if you take the definition leadership from John Quincy Adams, which for me is how I see Leadership and he says “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”.
Leadership isn’t just about being the head of an organisation, being in charge, Leadership is about being the example, a role model that others look up to and follow, or maybe just try to imitate.
Leadership is about action, it’s not about skills, or charisma, sure they can help you be a better leader, but we can be leaders just by the actions we take.
Leadership isn’t about power and control, it’s about impacting and inspiring others, and we all have the ability to do that to varying degrees.
So if you want to be a leader the first thing to do is to believe that you can be, when you have the right belief then you have put yourself on the path to success and then it’s just a question of doing the work needed to get to the end of that path.
Next you need to step up, take actions that will inspire others, be a role model. We can all do this just by supporting and helping people.
Leadership is about service, it’s not about being served.
The more we look to serve others, the bigger and better a leader we will be. This is the principle behind servant leadership, and Servant leadership is a great way to build strong,loyal and engaged teams.
Once you have made the decision to lead, to serve others, to look to inspire people through your actions, if you want to take it further then look to volunteer for any leadership opening, these could be positions in your community, a local charity, youth organisation or even sports team.
Leadership can be learnt and the best way to learn is the practice, through doing, yes you will make mistakes, but thats were we learn the most.
Another quote I like is by Harry S Truman who said “Not all readers are Leaders, but all Leaders are readers”, and we can also learn a lot about leadership from reading, there are thousands of books on the topic. I believe we learn the most from practise, but reading will give us some great tips and advice on what to practise.
For anyone starting out in leadership these are the top 3 books I would recommend you start off reading
Leadership is all about the people, but it starts with us, and in Stephen Coveys book you will learn about the changes you need to make to yourself in order to unleash the leader within. Gung Ho and How To Win Friends and Influence People will help you learn about people, how to connect, inspire and motivate them, and once you have mastered those three things there will be no stopping you.
So here are my 3 Simple Steps to Becoming a Leader:
You may not become the next Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr, but you can become a leader.
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