Developing your leadership potential and management skills:
What comes to mind when you hear the word leader? Is it the CEO of an international corporation? A billionaire entrepreneur? A politician? The dashing extrovert who takes the floor? …
They are often the responses given to that question. But leadership is certainly not limited to title or profile. It’s prevalent in all walks of life and industry.
I have met many successful leaders, some of them do hold the titles mentioned above, but the clear majority of them don’t hold much of a title at all. Yet they are without question, successful leaders.
If I’ve learned anything over the years, it is that leadership has very little to do with position, income or the size of a team.
(Source: IBM poll of 1,500 executives on the most important quality for leadership.)
Leadership is a set of behaviours that we can all develop. Contrary to certain beliefs, strong leaders are not always born, they are made.
Everyone has the potential to lead if that is what they desire.
Think back to a leader you have worked with who had the title and position, but when it came down to passion, trust and integrity, they were sadly lacking.
On the other hand, think back to a great leader you know, one who inspired and motivated those around them to achieve whatever goals and objectives they had set. They knew how to share their vision in such a passionate way that others wanted to work with them. They built trust and commitment within their team. There was no stopping them!
The trust and motivation a great leader instills in their team is something that is developed with time and commitment and it begins with the self.
A great leader knows that they must lead themselves first.
Self-leadership is clear in an effective leader. They themselves practice all of the behaviours they expect from their team members. They believe in themselves and their team. They lead by example. Most people can recognize an authentic leader fairly quickly.
“Effective leadership is really a transformational journey beginning with self-leadership”— K. Blanchard
There have been a number of studies done in an attempt to profile the ideal leader. The studies weren’t successful because there is no such thing as an ideal leader. There isn’t a formula that will churn out great leaders as real leadership success comes from within.
We’re all human, we’re all different and unique, even leaders. When you read through a list of powerful leaders, you’ll see a broad spectrum of people covered. A wide variety of ages, races, professions, and education are usually represented. Some leaders don’t appear to have much in common, certainly on the surface. But look closer and what they do have in common is the ability to make those around them feel empowered, inspired and secure in the knowledge that they can trust their leader.
Engaging and inspiring others to share your vision and purpose is a true sign of leadership. A strong leader articulates this in a way that resonates with those they want to get on board. And it’s not easy. It requires a great deal of passion, belief and strong communication skills all expressed in a way that is contagious.
How well do you communicate your passion and belief? How strong are your leadership skills?