HONING YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS
There’s really something about leadership that most people tend to get wrong. Most people think that leadership is just for the selected few and that the rest of us are just supposed to just follow without having a choice of our own. Well, this is just absurd!
If you ask me, I would say every one of us has the innate potential of becoming great—and not just good—leaders, but we just don’t realize it, yet. Or probably some of us do realize it, but we fail to believe in ourselves well enough that we can be great leaders.
You’re a leader—a great one at that. As a matter of fact, we all are! Don’t allow the twisted words of other people to tell you otherwise.
Now, the best and most favourable thing you can do for and to yourself is to learn how you can polish and sharpen that ingrained leadership skill that’s already inside of you and trust me, you can do it. All you need is a little bit of willingness to learn then discipline and commit yourself throughout the process of your learning.
You don’t necessarily need to hold any kind of position whatsoever before you can see yourself as a leader, all you have to do is to “become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position”.
Leadership really has to do with more about doing for others and less for yourself. It is really a great skill that really drives a successful life.
Someone once said, “Success for leadership is knowing the great art of directing others without their noticing it”. This is purely what leadership really entails. I mean, you really just have to have the prowess of directing others without necessarily being so imposing and authoritative.
I know you can have in your mind that probably you want to be a leader in a particular field or something and you might think that you really have to be so into such field or be so influential in order to do so.
Well, that notwithstanding, you can actually be all that. But just know that leadership is first in character before the behaviour. You really have to have that leadership trait in you before you can truly be able to portray such an attitude to other people around you. Don’t ever get that twisted in your head!
Another thing you really have to know about leading others is knowing how to lead yourself first. First, discipline yourself into controlling your whole being before you can actually think of doing it to others.
WHAT MAKES YOU A TRUE LEADER
Knowing exactly what makes you a true leader is one way of whetting the leadership skill that is inside of you. You really just have to know what makes a leader in you—a good one at that.
One thing that makes you a leader is integrity. Jim Rohn puts it as thus, “Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word”.
There is really no other way to get this done. You really just have to be a person of integrity. Don’t be the person that says a thing now and the next moment you’re saying something else.
Take a great deal of caution in your words. Always say what you know you can always do and keep up to. Be deliberate about the kind of words you use so as not to spit out things you cannot do.
Mind you, integrity is just a fraction of what a true leader should have. Another thing is, to be honest. We all know that lies are pretty easy to tell especially when the truth is pretty uncomfortable. We just tell a lie just to feel better and cover-up for ourselves.
But this is not right for the aftermath of telling lies always makes us feel terrible. But you see what, a true leader is not supposed to tell lies—whether it is comfortable or not!
You should be able and be willing to always say the truth no matter how uncomfortable or bitter it may seem. Doing this will make people even respect you more because they know that speaking the truth is not always easy.
And being that they now happen to be with someone who always says the truth, well they will very much admire and cherish you.
There is another thing that makes a true leader. Arnold Glasgow puts it better, “One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency”.
This quality really needs to be present because you really don’t want to be that leader who never solves problems or who doesn’t even notice a problem when he sees one until it has probably caused big harm among your followers. Hell no, you don’t want to be that!
Instead, be that leader that can recognize a problem when he sees one. And you don’t only have to be able to recognize problems, you also need to be able to solve those problems without causing tension among your followers.
That adroitness to solve a problem without causing further problems should be well embedded in you. Trust me, people will follow your every command if they see you as a worthy leader.
DON’T JUST LEAD; LEAD RIGHTLY
As a leader, you shouldn’t just lead, rather you should lead yourself and others rightly. People will always be willing to follow someone who knows what he’s doing and who doesn’t make unnecessary mistakes here and there.
“A leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be”—Rosalynn Carter. Be that great leader who takes people where they need to be and not just where they want to be. This is really what I mean by leading rightly.
To be honest, leading is not really an easy task, and people make it even more difficult by being adamant. They tend to behave this way when they feel they are being ordered around like a bunch of kids.
That’s why it’s really important for you not to be a commanding and imposing leader. People won’t even take you seriously because they’ve seen you as the villain in all this.
As a leader, don’t make it seem as if you alone know the solution to a problem. Give room for your followers to give their own opinions and you will be surprised at the kind of responses you’ll get from them. They might even know something you don’t.
So always give your followers a chance to say what’s on their mind and don’t rebuke, criticize or judge them with it. This is part of the ways of leading rightly.
You alone cannot make it work for you actually need the collaborative efforts of your followers so that there won’t be drawbacks and setbacks.
IN LEADERSHIP, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PICKY
We as humans can be so discriminatory and judgmental even to the people we move around with. We really love to be identified with people of class or of the same race as ours which is also a good thing if it’s not personalized. In other words, you can choose to do that if you can also freely mingle with the opposite class and race too.
Well in leadership, discriminating is not really a wise thing to do. If you really want to be and do great in leadership, then you really have to learn to accept people for who they are.
Discriminating, judging or criticizing them will push them away from you because people don’t really like it when you point out their errors in the wrong way, it really hurts them you know. Nobody is perfect, even you as a leader, are not.
Don’t make things too hard for yourself by being a judgmental and discriminatory leader. Don’t make the mistake of treating your followers differently because this will definitely cause strife to arise. Instead, treat them equally in the same measures.
Remember I said from the beginning that you’ve got leadership in you? Good. So always make it a deliberate effort to hone that leadership skill in the right way by not being too picky towards your followers, trust me, it will do you no good because your followers will resent you for being a picky leader.
If you really want people to love you genuinely, then you’ve got to learn to accept them for who they are. Don’t judge or criticize them for whoever they are or whatever they do. People don’t really like being around those that are judgmental and critical let alone allowing them to lead them.
So there you have it. Keep working and improving on your ingrained leadership potential. People may not notice now, but I promise you that if you stay a little longer in it, then they’ll begin to see the great leadership skill in you and that will make them admire and respect you in every way.
Thanks for reading. Kindly leave your comments below and don’t forget to share.