A lot of the information and articles on the internet pertaining to leadership are directed at people in power; owners, managers, etc. The truth is a title isn’t what is required in order to be a leader. Leadership is better defined by a state of mind or attitude, with or without an official title. A successful leader uses their heart over their mind in order to connect with others around them. Even in a hierarchy of a company, a leader could be identified as someone other than those in a position of power. Someone people trust and respect, regardless of what their official position is. Their actions or conversations bring about inspiration in those they encounter.
As John Quincy Adams said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
So how does one go about becoming a leader when they have no authority or title? Simply by changing the way they interact with the people around them. The following basic steps can help anyone improve their leadership skills:
- Listen efficiently to what people are saying. The mind is constantly working and can block out what someone else is saying if it isn’t controlled. This takes focus, but it can be improved.
- Think critically about the situation or scenario. Try to focus on potential issues that may arise before they do. Help develop ways to prevent these issues. This also goes for opportunities, not just problems.
- Encourage others to live up to their potential. Share personal stories, recognize accomplishments and provide positive feedback. Sometimes all it takes is a few kind words to make a difference to someone.
- Take initiative to go above and beyond what is expected. Show the ability to take on additional responsibilities and offer assistance if there is a need.
- Always keep learning new things. A stagnant mind is dying; revive it with new ideas, concepts, challenges and opportunities.
- Take courage to do things that haven’t been done before and look at things from new angles. Live outside the box and help others around you to do the same.
- Be a gracious follower. Don’t overstep boundaries or walk on people to get ahead. Follow rules, be courteous to authority and above all, be a positive influence.
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