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Becoming a great leader

Leaders are people with vision. Great leaders inspire others to join them as they head in the direction of that vision. They understand that it is the power of the collective and not the individual that causes massive change and achievement in the world.

Here are some important tips for becoming a great leader:

Lead by Example

Whatever you expect others to do, you must be willing to do yourself. When you take actions in line with your values, you inspire others to behave in a similar manner.

Set Clear Boundaries

You may be a high-performing powerhouse, but you are still human. Create clear boundaries for yourself and stick to them. You will garner more respect from your team than if you take on an “anything goes” mentality.

Encourage Others to Grow

You and your project, organization or business will be served by lifting others up. Your mission isn’t to be at the top of the business food chain but to create something greater than any one individual. Therefore, the stronger each member of the team becomes, the closer you get to making your vision come to life.

Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

Some believe that business should be an arena devoid of emotion, but that’s not the world we live in. It is by communicating with the head and the heart that you truly reach people. What matters to others? What are their values and beliefs? What makes them feel confident, strong and appreciated? If you can tune in to the emotional needs of others, you will be able to assuage fears and create more positivity in your colleagues, clients and team-members.

Have a Strong Vision

The strength and clarity of your vision will keep you and those following you on track during the tough times. The more detailed your vision of the future is, the more you will be able to communicate that vision to others. Sometimes the road to achieving your goals is long and arduous. It is the power of your vision that will get you through.

Keep Developing Yourself

Leadership isn’t a destination but a continuous journey. There will always be more skills to cultivate, ideas to explore and lessons to learn. Never stop growing. Pay attention to what challenges come your way and notice where you feel you are being asked to mature in order to accomplish whatever has been presented. Then put some time and energy into developing yourself in those areas.

Know Yourself

Awareness of yourself and the impact you are having on others and your environment is one of the most necessary abilities a leader can possess. The more self-aware you are, the more you are able to adjust and adapt to the needs of your project, business or team. Be smart, be mindful and be willing to change.

Keep it Professional

While you want to develop a strong rapport among your team, it is important for you to keep your work relationships out of the realm of the personal. When you are surrounded by people you genuinely resonate with, it can be tempting to deepen certain relationships in a way that may feel good on a personal level, but actually weakens the professional connection. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have meaningful connections in the workplace, but as a leader you are responsible for maintaining boundaries of professionalism so as to support the bigger picture you are all in service of.

Learn from Your “Mistakes”

Everything can be a learning experience if you show up for the lesson. Rather than deny the fact that you made an error, analyze the events that led to the mistake and see where you could have made a different choice. Odds are you will at some point be placed in a similar position in the future, but if you have learned your lesson from the past, you won’t make the same mistake again.

Find a Mentor

Just because you are in a leadership position doesn’t mean you don’t need some leadership yourself. Find someone who you look up to and who displays the attributes you are looking to cultivate within yourself and learn from them. You may go through several mentors in your career as you continue to expand and grow but keep seeking those who are further along on your same path to gather information and wisdom from.

Leadership is a practice. It is a mindset, a way of engaging in the workplace that elevates you above those who are content only to follow. Choose to innovate, to explore, to motivate others and to exercise your creativity to find new solutions to the challenges that arise in your business.

Source/Extracts: How to become a leader

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