Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Leader Within You

The Leader Within You

Leadership…everyone talks about it, many want it, yet few understand it.  What comes to mind when you hear the word?  Is leadership something we’re born with or is it something we discover?  Or better yet is it something to develop?   

What makes someone a good leader?  We know that leaders inspire and motivate rather than intimidate and manipulate.  They encourage others because they know that encouragement is what brings out the best in people.  Your vision not only for yourself but for the world around you is the first step toward developing the leader within you.  

Leaders understand the importance of a positive attitude and disposition because it will have an impact on their ability to influence.  The leader’s ability to influence others is at the heart of leadership skill.  John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert and he says, “Leadership is influence.  That’s it.  Nothing more, nothing less.” 

I believe there is a little more to leadership than just influence, albeit important.   A leader is also someone with a vision; someone who can get others to not only see the vision but to help in achieving the vision.  Leadership is not a position, rank or a title; it is the ability to influence others and gain followers.  However, the one who influences others to only follow is not really a leader.  A true leader is someone who influences others to influence others to create a bigger following so more people can work to carry out the vision.  Basically, a true leader is someone who can develop people.

Before you can develop others; you should begin developing the leader within you.  Everyone has the potential to be a great leader!  It is our calling to do so.  Developing your leadership qualities is really your obligation to the world.  The world needs more leaders who can add value to the people and organizations they wish to lead.    

As you work to discover the leader within you, ask yourself a few important questions: 
How do I add value to the people and organizations around me? 
Do I normally come from a place of genuine contribution? 
Why is it so important to develop the leader within me?

Something else to consider as you develop the leader within are these 5 attributes of leadership.  What areas are your strengths?  What areas do you need to improve in?
  • Self-discipline – the ability to make yourself do the thing you need to do even when you don’t want to
  • Positive attitude – Leadership has less to do with position and more to do with disposition
  • Vision – Leaders see it (the vision) and pursue it and they help others to see it and  pursue it
  • Integrity – being who you, doing what you say, having credibility and knowing how to do the right thing
  • Influence – getting people to see what you see and support you in getting there.

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