I remember doing my business degree, and the unit of ‘Leadership and Management’ came up. I thought I would instantly feel at ease within this subject, having had my own business for many years previous to that and considering myself somewhat of a leader. However, when they started teaching it, it had all been ‘universitified’!
It was all theory.
Leadership styles had been compared to Greek Gods by some theorist or another, which is all very well and good, but where does that leave you on a practicality scale? Probably not very far up at all!
I decided to write a blog post about the practical side of being a leader. What it really means in a business/workplace sense, and how these characteristics can benefit you in your own business journey.
What is a Leader?
We have all heard the term leader and probably think that we are all capable of leading. While this might be true, being able to lead doesn’t make you a natural leader.
A Natural leader is someone who commands attention. They have a certain charisma about them, and are often the people we look up to or admire. In actual fact, we are probably all a leader in someones eyes, even if it is your children’s. However, being able to switch on and off the leadership characteristics at will, is something that I believe is an asset of a natural leader.
A natural leader is a person who finds leadership easy and natural. They can find a way to express and explain a goal or desired end product, then create an atmosphere or environment which encourages others to work successfully towards that end result. People want to follow their instruction, people want to be around them and people want to be like them.
In today’s modern world of business a natural leader is a person who can provide guidance and direction in order to motivate others around them to work at their best to achieve the desired goal.
A manager delegates whilst a leader inspires.
Why should you try and be a Good Leader?
Even if you don’t have anyone working for you yet, it’s important that you display the characteristics of a leader from an early stage.
The benefits of this are many!
You see, if you’re a natural leader, GREAT! You will be doing these things subconsciously, with no effort.
If you are not however, it’s important that you portray these characteristics.
By doing so, you will find a whole new world opens up to you, no matter what niche your business is in.
Suppliers will want to work with you.
Customers will want to buy from you.
People will want to know what you’re up to and what your next product is.
Peers will want to collaborate with you.
And best of all, over time, these characteristics will become naturally ingrained within you, and you will not just appear more confident and charismatic, you will actually BE these things!
Characteristics of a Leader- (learn and fake it ’til you make it!)
- Take Responsibility– A leader will never blame other people or circumstance for their failures. Take it on the chin, and think about how you could have done it better!
- Motivate & Inspire– Motivate yourself and others to follow your lead. Whether this be in work ethic, attracting people to your blog or You Tube channel, selling customers your product. You will inspire people by being passionate about your cause.
- Communication Skills- As a leader, your communication skills are impeccable. You are confident and people want to listen to you. You’re passion about your business or product shines through your words.
- No Fear– A leader will not be afraid to take a plunge on an innovative idea, or be afraid of competition.
- Confidence & Charisma- When a leader walks in a room, they should command attention. They have an air of charisma and confidence about them that makes people curious and want to listen. (Yes, even faking this can be mastered!)
Leadership & Support
A leader is someone who offers direction, support, encouragement and guidance to others to lift the self beliefs and motivate. A leader generates belief in the people around them.
It’s good to help others! By giving something back, you yourself will feel the benefits within your own business. Take the time to encourage people who could be potential business partners, customers. Offer support and advice wherever you can. It costs nothing to give and could mean the world to someone.
Leadership & Vision
A leader has natural vision.
Not only can a leader see the short term picture of the goals and desires, but they have a clear image of the overall fuller picture. They can often see things that other people miss, the small details which cause problems, or the whole picture which everything links in to.
Most people can see the benefits of smaller short term goals but a natural leader always has the greater picture in view. Usually the greater picture is much more important that the sum of the smaller goals and a leader can see how everything fits into place.
Spend time thinking about your long term vision. What are you striving to achieve? Why did you begin this journey? Having a clear vision of this will make you more focused and more ambitious to achieve the full extent of your dreams, rather than settle for one of the stepping stones along the way!
Leadership & Motivation
It is not enough just to have a clear vision of the overall complete picture. Many people can see that things need to be done, tasks need to be completed, and are usually aware of the need for them to be done. What separates natural leaders from the rest is the ability to act on this.
Where often people will know what needs to be done, a leader get things moving and gets these tasks done. Completing the smaller tasks is a vital start to completing the whole overall goal. Remember, the longest journey always starts with a single step.
A true natural leader has the ability to motivate and encourage others around them to achieve the set targets. No thought is usually needed and they tend to know instinctively what is the best approach to take, how to get others to believe in the same goals and how to minimise obstacles.
Remember, MASSIVE ACTION TODAY = MASSIVE SUCCESS TOMORROW!
While some very special people are born with natural leadership it is found that in the business world leaders are formed, not born.
Developing the skills that make an effective leader take time and effort and this often includes mistakes and hard work along the way. While the world is full of advice, training and reference books on how to develop leadership skills it is usually only by doing that leadership skills are developed.
Developing leadership skills is an active pursuit. By all means read up on leadership skills and develop ideas but the only way to fully develop these ideas is to try them out. Active development is the most efficient way to develop your leadership skills.
Several opportunities may arise for you to progress your leadership skills. Don’t be afraid to put yourself forward for these things. Whether that be putting out a YouTube video, applying for a new job or taking on a huge task. Fear is the only thing holding you back from a better life!
Expect to make mistakes along the way but try to learn from the mistakes. Making the same mistake twice is not the sign of a good leader.
Leadership in Summary
The greatest leaders and therefore the most effective leaders can have an immediate and significant impact on the people around them. They understand and view the larger picture and can motivate, guide, encourage and challenge others to achieve the same goal.
Take time out to study the work and methods of some of the greatest leaders on the modern times. Leaders such as Churchill who motivated a whole country by his encouraging and understanding demands during World War Two through to slightly later leaders such as Martin Luther King who encouraged a whole generation to be motivated for change and to hold his beliefs as strongly as he did. Even modern day leaders can be studied and things learned from them. Barack Obama has shown his charisma and leadership qualities and can be seen to install the beliefs of his aims in the people around him.
You too can invest in yourself and learn these characteristics, that will take you far in your life.
Normally, I would now point you to a book I have read where you could learn more about how to be a successful leader, and I have read many books on this subject during my studies, however, I personally feel that leadership is not something you can learn from a book. So my advice to you is this, GO OUT AND DO IT!
Put yourself out there on that limb! Throw yourself into opportunities that would normally scare you and make stuff happen!
If you haven’t already signed up for my free video course ‘How to Make Money Online- With No Marketing Knowledge, No Technical Skills and No Capital’ Then you can do do by clicking HERE