Leadership Is A Way of Behaving
Many people are given a chance to manage or lead a situation at work, in their recreation time or at home. However, to get the best from the experience and achieve the best possible outcomes, it helps to consider the difference between simply managing or controlling the situation and really leading it. Leadership is neither a secret recipe, given only to a privileged few, nor an inherited right from a powerful and influential family. Leadership is a way of behaving which inspires people to follow your vision and help you achieve your aims. The important thing to remember is that the skills needed for leadership can be learned, practiced and honed over time to enable anyone, from any background, to achieve great things.
Anyone can become a leader
Some people believe that you need to be born with certain characteristics to become a leader. However this is simply not true. While extrovert, confident people may seem at first glance to be “leadership material” they are not always very good at reflecting, listening and learning. These are all skills which can be developed, as can confidence and the ability to speak to people in a way which engages and influences them. Anyone who chooses to open their mind, take a positive approach and be prepared to work, learn and grow can become an excellent leader. It can help to practice these skills through recreational activities or personal interests. However many people find they need to develop these skills in the workplace and often “learn on the job”. One of the first things to remember is not to fear failure but to learn from both negative and positive experiences. Try things out and apply new techniques but do not be afraid of or hurt by feedback. Ensure you reflect on your experience and performance in order to learn from it to continually improve.
Positivity and motivation
One of the key characteristics that people give when describing good leaders is positivity. Finding the best in every situation and identifying each person’s positive attributes is a great motivating tool. When you highlight the positives to a team of people striving towards a common goal they are more likely to work with you than against you. Identify what works well and what you want to continue before suggesting improvements which may be made. Use a positive approach to build confidence and trust then listen and work with others to find ways to make improvements. By motivating people and harnessing their enthusiasm you are likely to tap into the energy that brings innovation, imagination and extra impetus to a situation or project.
Inspire and Develop
By building trust and a positive working culture it is possible to inspire the people around you to become more skilled, committed and open to change. Developing the people who contribute to achieving your goals can bring enormous loyalty and focus from those you rely on to deliver your targets. By giving people the training, skills and confidence they need to complete their tasks you can develop a highly effective team with valued skills and experience. This does not always mean sending people on expensive training courses. Often simply sharing the skills available from the people around you can help develop everyone on the team. By taking time to share experience and encourage development you can inspire those directly involved in your achievements and also those observing or benefiting from the outcomes.