* * *
We’re all leaders because we lead our lives. But, is there a way to live an optimal existence? Yes, here’s how.
Live and lead actively:
- Take Initiative: Sometimes all you’ve to do in a new situation is to take initiative to be labeled as a leader. Even such quick decisions can be deliberate and comprehensive in action. Stephen R. Covey once said that leaders were made out of a result of their choices. Leadership is a choice. And it begins with the simple act of taking initiative.
- Be Present: The most important aspect of sounding like a leader is to think and act like one. That includes your presence. Remember names. Be engaged in the act of working together.
- Communicate Clearly: Being prepared for what you’re about to communicate. Modulate and change your message to suit your audience. Even if you’re delivering the same news, you can’t communicate to your boss and your child in the same way.
- Think Legacy: We remember Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and Gandhi because of their unwavering commitment to the betterment of the people they served. Don’t think profit, fame and money. Think impact. At the end of life, you won’t be counting the monies in your bank, but the number of lives that you’ve touched. Do positive things that make you immortal in the lives of those you’ve touched.
- Consume Smartly: Be a smart consumer. Quora.com states that if assuming that no more video would be uploaded until you stop watching, it would take you 60,000 years of non-stop watching to watch each and every video that already exists on YouTube today. Its a lost cause, you’ll never be “done watching.” Think Input vs. Output. Stop consuming and start creating. Share your own unique gifts and enhance the quality of yours and the ones around you.
- Show Humility: As you work with others in a leadership role, remember to stop to ask if you can do anything better. Be ready to make mistakes and admit that you’re lost. Seeking help only makes you more human. You’re growing yourself. Encourage others around you to do the same.
What makes a good leader great?
You’re now a leader. But, how can you become a great one? In life or profession, great leaders set intentions early on. They value tremendously the potential of their human capital.
- Be Nice: Don’t discount the doorman or the janitor. Anyone can be a future prospect. Smile. Light up others’ lives if you expect them to bring their A game. Other people have dreams and loved ones too, just like you.
- Read People: Familiarize yourselves with others who are different than you. Great leaders are accessible enough to allow others to feel comfortable with sharing their thoughts and ideas. Use common sense. Other people have great ideas too.
- Seek Clarity: Seek clarity of purpose in what you want to achieve. Simplify your message. Show others how the ideal end result would look like. Provide a path that’s efficient and effective. Now, sell your dreams.
- Show Commitment: Show up everyday. Show your own commitment for personal excellence. Offer unconditional support to those around you, while setting clear expectations.
- Take Massive Action: You’re a great leader when you can inspire people to action. Gandhi didn’t have a book on how to win freedom for India. Neither did Mandela and Dr. King in their fights. Charge ahead with the best-case-scenario-end-goal in mind.
- Amass a Network: Embrace others as equal. Communicate that you’re inspired by others’ hardwork and dedication to purpose. Show your heart. Keep your promises. Don’t play politics, no one will stick around.
- Recalibrate Often: Frequently ask yourself and others, “Are we doing what is in the best interest of our end goal?” Doing so not only enables to stay on course but also get back on track to positive progress. It also helps in making you adaptable towards unforeseen circumstances.
- Take Ownership: Be courageous enough to take responsibility for set backs. When you’re lost, acknowledge it. Seek help. Step on mistakes as if they’re stepping stones. Create an environment that’s coherent in its values.
- Inspire Hope: Share your message of perseverance and setbacks. Show what’s possible with dedication, integrity and a purpose in mind. Empower people with information, skills and strategies they need to perform optimally.
- Propel Growth: Demonstrate curiosity, energy and passion in execution. Don’t have an attitude of mediocre in aiming for goals. Enjoy the journey of change and celebrate every small milestone along the way.
- Be the Change: Its difficult to seek change when the status quo is working just fine. Don’t shy away from taking calculated risks. Technology is here to stay. Embrace the digital disruption. Understand and implement what works for you.
How can one start?
Start with body language. They are subtle non verbal cues that don’t need language to communicate to others to show that you’re in charge or OK to be led anywhere passively.
- Be Present
- Dress Well
- Give a Firm Handshake
- Have an Unwavering Eye contact
- Exude Energy
- Show Unbridled Enthusiasm
- Smile Genuinely
- Have Positive Self esteem
I grouped capabilities into three categories: purely technical skills like accounting and business planning; cognitive abilities like analytical reasoning; and competencies demonstrating emotional intelligence, such as the ability to work with others and effectiveness in leading change. I have found, however, that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence, a combination of — self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.
~ Daniel Goleman