“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
– LEADERSHIP is an aspect of personal development that greatly effects an individual’s potential. Thankfully, like every other aspect of personal development, one’s leadership abilities are flexible. Leadership depends on an individual’s willingness and dedication to improving their leadership skills as well as their ability to have the attitude of a leader. Do you view yourself as a leader? I believe you should. I believe everyone should view themselves as a leader – you’re in charge of leading your own life aren’t you? How we think and how we view ourselves dictates our decisions, actions, and the overall management of our life. We should each view ourselves as a leader so that we act like leaders outwardly.
So what makes a great leader?
Firstly, great leaders study other great leaders. They are constantly learning about what those before them have done to become great leaders. Leaders are readers because they are obsessed with learning everything they possibly can to make them the best leaders they can possibly can be. Common sense, right? Not for everyone. How do leaders avoid making the mistakes that history’s greatest leaders have already made? Well, you can leave it up to luck and hope that you don’t make a similar decision or you can have prepared yourself by learning what they did and learning from their mistake rather than your own. Leadership is all about learning – learning about themselves, learning about the people and situations around them, and learning about what others have done before them.
How important is influence to a leader?
John C. Maxwell, named the No. 1 leadership and management expert in the world by Inc. Magazine, said, “The true measure of leadership is influence nothing more, nothing less.” How are you influencing the people around you? A point that John C. Maxwell makes is that insecure people in positions of leadership often push down the people below them in order to protect their own authority and/or status. Leadership is something that must be earned based off the influence an individual has on the people around him or her. Are you lifting people up? Are you creating leaders in the people below you and/or around you? You’ll never be considered a leader because of a title you receive, but only by increasing the influence you have with others by pushing them to their highest potential – even if that potential surpasses your own individual accomplishments.
How do leaders gain followers?
Simply put, inspiration. If you can grip the emotions of an individual in a way where they ‘buy’ into the vision you have for an idea or future they’ll follow you wherever you go. How can you get the best out of someone by demanding their help when they don’t want to give it? People give their best when they are passionate about an idea. Leaders have the ability to inspire people emotionally in regards to what they want to accomplish. What this means is that we, with all of us being leaders, must learn to understand people’s psychology. We must be able to find common ground with every individual and learn to connect with them as best as we can so that when we share our vision we are touching their emotions. Great leaders do this before they ever try to get people to follow them or follow their vision of what they want to accomplish.
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” John F. Kennedy
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