How would you describe a leader?
A leader is someone who leads the group.
There are not many natural leaders. Most of the leaders train themselves to develop their leadership capacity. Being a leader allows you to realize your own ideas as well as to mobilize people and resources to make a larger positive impact on the world.
Having leadership qualities give you a high social status.
So how can you become a leader? What makes a leader great?
In this article, you'll learn the 3 main components essential for becoming a leader of your own life.
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But, let's start with the flip side of the coin.
Why is it that most people do not become leaders?
Our upbringing plays a major role in this. During childhood, we are always told what to do and what not to. Our parents or primary caretakers tell us what is wrong and what is right.
Even in school, we are instructed to do things in a certain manner. Over time, we get used to following others’ opinions on what we should do and think.
There’s no “right time” to take charge of your life. NOW is the right time to become a leader.
All you need to do is embrace the leadership qualities.
A leader is someone who makes things happen.
You can become a leader no matter what your current position is.
Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the prominent leaders in the history of humanity, well said, “A leader is a dealer in hope.”
A leader is the one who provides hope - a certain meaningful aim. This hope implanted by the leader is further nurtured by other people.
If you think about any great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa or Abraham Lincoln – they had a common way of leading people. That is, they inspired and brought together people with their mission.
For instance, think about that one thing which motivates you to work. Most of us will think of money. However, numerous researches concluded that money is not the only primary motivator. Money does satisfy our primary needs. But once those needs are satisfied, money is not the driving force.
There are many other necessities that employees wish for other than just monetary rewards.
According to the State of American Workplace survey by Gallup in 2017, employees want to:
- Find meaning in their work
- Make full use of their skills and talents to achieve, without being constrained by a limited operational framework
- Learn continuously
- Evolve and have achievable goals in place
- Work for a company that shares their personal culture and values
A leader understands that people have non-monetary needs as well. A leader is able to fulfill these. To become a leader, you need to set a certain goal and start pursuing it. If your goal is meaningful, gradually people will join you. So now you have to think about the goal you want to set for yourself.
Let’s get to the 3 important components of leadership:
1. Have a Positive Attitude
Writing down your goals is a very effective exercise. It forces you to formulate the same, clearly and concisely. In fact, you can write them in the comments section below.
Here’s my personal experience,
During my childhood, I used to play chess. I used to participate in various chess tournaments. When I was 14, I won a youth championship in chess and was eligible for the world championship. But I didn’t have any money.
When I was trying to find a solution, my coach suggested that we can look for sponsors. Since it was new to me, I wondered if anyone would give me money for something I wanted to do. But then my coach told me I was going to represent my country.
Thus, there would be many companies willing to support me (and promote themselves simultaneously of course!). That’s when I realized, for the first time, that if you have a big goal you can find financial assistance easily. It is easier to inspire people to participate when your goal is ambitious.
2. Be Persistent
“In order to reach your destination, first and foremost you need to go!” - Honoré de Balzac, (famous French writer)
Most of us have many dreams or goals in life. But only a few of us actually go on to pursue them.
Do you know, 25% of the people drop their new year resolution within the very first weeks of the year!?
This brings us to another encouraging quote by the famous motivational speaker, Jim Ryun, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
Once you decide on your goal, the next thing to do is to decide the actions that you will need to take habitually. It is crucial to take a few steps towards your goal consistently.
Think about 3 things that will take you closer towards your goals. Make sure you to do these goals daily. Eventually, by the end of the year, you would have made more than 1000 actions towards your goal.
3. Lead From Where You Are
You need to shift your attitude from feeling like a leader to actually being a leader.
Once, Randy Gage, the motivational speaker, shared the following example during his seminar –
Imagine a situation where there is a seminar going on. The presenter, standing on the stage, is talking about something. After some time people start feeling very hot and realize that the air conditioner has stopped working.
So, what would people do?
99% of the people would do nothing.
They would expect someone else to take charge. But a leader will point out this problem and try to find a solution.
You can also follow the same method. To be a leader you don’t necessarily need to liberate your nation or make a remarkable change in the world like the famous leaders in history have.
Even if you initiate anything small, you can be a leader. If your movement helps others, they will be glad to help you. You have to set a good example for others to follow. That’s when you can become a true leader.
Along with the above 3 components, good communication skills, innovation, and decision-making capabilities play a vital role in the success of a leader.
REMEMBER, being a leader is a continuous process. The more experiences and challenges under your belt, the more is your growth potential.
Know another key ingredient of leadership? Share with us!