If you think leadership is for someone else then think again. We are all leaders in certain circumstances and at certain times in our lives. As a parent, as a friend or as an adviser we all assume leadership roles even if we do not see ourselves as leaders.
In my new book, Every Leader’s Reality Guide, to be published in September, there is the chapter title –You Are Who You Think You Are- where I make the point that your thoughts regulate your actions. You see your world through your own particular lens .How you view your world is reality for you. For example a pessimist will see a different world than the same world viewed through optimistic lens . Change the way you look at life if you are to be a leader because followers like optimists.
Positive attitude is important and in leadership I believe that attitude is more important than intelligence. People are attracted to positive people and they will follow a positive person who has a clear vision of the future and communicates that vision to others.
So how do you recognise a leader and how can you reveal your own leadership potential ? Having a strong well-communicated vision is certainly essential. Visions are future -orientated and point towards a better future.
But good leaders also have good emotional intelligence ;they care for, respect and listen to others. They genuinely connect with people by being present and interested . They support others so they feel valued and this builds trust and respect.
Leaders not only have a strong clear vision ; they are also action-orientated. They are doers and have the perseverance to stay on course and achieve their goals.
Insincerity is easily detected . Good leaders will have identifiable personal values and a clear set of beliefs. They are authentic and transparent.
The most simple definition of a leader is one who has followers. So examine your own life. Do you have followers who trust and admire you ? You are indeed a leader.
Leadership skills can be learned if you have the aptitude and right attitude. The key to realising your full potential is to know yourself.
In Every Leader’s Reality Guide I show how you can reveal your own true potential to be the best you can be when it comes to leading others. My book is endorsed by some high- profile leaders so I am looking forward to getting my book out there .
In the meantime do not think leadership is for others. If you know your own personal values and live by those values you can be a leader. Have you heard of accidental leaders ? These are people whose conviction and values propelled them into leadership roles where circumstances demanded. They never intended to be leaders but they had to lead from personal conviction.
Understanding yourself is the first and most important stage in becoming a good leader. Know what you stand for and have conviction. This gives you inner strength which is reflected in how you act in your personal or professional life.
The world today needs more leaders who have values as well as vision. Power can be exercised with vision but without values it can threaten us all.
All the great world leaders of the past had clearly demonstrable values and one I particularly recall is the former American president , Woodrow Wilson who once said about the country he led; America was established not to create wealth but to realise a vision,to realise an ideal-to discover and maintain liberty among men.
Liberty is one value we all need to cherish in this volatile world and not just in America. It is at the heart of democracy and at the core of good democratic leadership.