Back in my Marine Corps days we were taught that if you wanted to lead, then set the example for others. One of the main criteria of a good leader is to help develop other leaders. And that includes teaching them how to be a leader.
Leadership is not a role or a title. A true leader makes the decisions that others don't want to make or is simply willing to step up when necessary in a given situation. They understand it's about the mission and not about themselves. Leaders will come in all sizes and shapes. There is not one size fits all. While there are those that still believe that leaders are born. I'm here to tell you that is simply not true. Leaders can be developed and taught certain skills.
For those of you that are already leaders or wanting to increase your skills as one, then here are my top ten ways to do just that.
1. Do public speaking. Not only will public speaking increase your awareness to others, it'll also increase your confidence as a leader. You can take a course, such as one run by a Dale Carnegie Associate or simply join a local Toastmasters International club in your area. Both of these are great in developing one's public speaking skills.
2. Learn verbal communication skills. This is where being able to effectively communicate to another person and influence them. Unlike public speaking, this is communication where listening is more important than talking. Dr. Tony Alessandra talks about understanding others through his Platinum Rule. "Do unto others as they would like be done unto." It's the same as Dale Carnegie described in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.
3. Learn how to write more effectively. Just like verbal communication, writing effectively is a key to delivering your message. The most effective writers are the ones that keep it simple & tight, use analogies and don't use industry lingo.
4. Make more decisions, whether right or wrong. This important for growth. In fact, the more mistakes you make, the more you'll grow. You simply learn how to make adjustments so you don't do the same ones again. Never fear making a mistake.
5. Become a reader and learner. It's been said that leaders are readers. If you think you know it all, then you'll never learn to lead. Leaders are never satisfied with they are at. They look to progress and improve. It's constant. Once you stop growing, then you'll stop being a leader.
6. Associate with leaders in various industries and areas of life. It could be a religious leader, a political leader, a business leader, or any other kind of leader. You'll learn from each one. And that's important. You might even want to create a mastermind with some.
7. Learn to appreciate more. Leaders have a way of appreciating where they are, but are never satisfied. That's one of the reasons true leaders continue to grow. Also, learn to appreciate those you lead and show them that you do.
8. Learn to look at the big picture (strategic thinking) and the small things (tactical thinking). See how each fits with each other. Create your own personal mission statement. That way you'll learn to see how a mission statement for your organization can be better created. Remember, you have to take in consideration others. Additionally, learn to look at the details. This will be important so you'll be able to develop tactics necessary to accomplish the mission.
9. Learn to delegate. The skill of delegation is important to the development of leaders in others as well as focusing on your strengths and letting others take over where you are weak at. Knowing yourself is very important in this aspect of leadership. Be honest in this area.
10. Self-care is important. Leaders must be healthy and fit in order to best lead. Also, this sets the example of others to follow. By doing this, you'll start to really care about yourself as a leader and what that represents.
I wish you the best as you work to develop the skill necessary to make you an effective leader.
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Bob Choat works as a Peak Performance Coach & Trainer and is focused on people in every industry reach a higher level in their lives.
Call 818-620-2494 for coaching/training