Developing the Art of Leadership

“Leadership is action, not position”. This quote by Donald H. McGannon says it all because being in the position of leader doesn’t mean you are a leader. It only means that you’re the boss. In order to be a real and effective leader you need certain attributes and skills, which, fortunately, can be learned if you have the desire to do so. Leadership is about influencing others to accomplish an objective, but your followers must believe that you are worthy of being followed.

Whether you run a small family business or a large corporation, your ability to display leadership is crucial to the smooth operation and success of your enterprise.

Transform yourself into the leader you need to be with these fundamentals:

Know Yourself. This means not only knowing who you are as a person, but being able to recognize your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Your followers must see you as genuine so that they trust you and have confidence in you. Without trust and respect there can be no inspiration.

Be Ethical. Being honest in your business dealings goes without saying. But, being an ethical leader is about much more than that. It is about being of service to others and truly having their best interest at heart. It is about caring and understanding the needs and motivations of those around you.

Communicate Effectively. A leader should not only have good verbal communication skills, but he or she must be able to lead by example. When people see you doing the work it takes to get results, they will be more willing to do the same. A boss will tell his followers what to do. A leader will show them how it is done. A good leader will be able to convey a strong vision for the future that his followers will want to be a part of and, thus, strive to help him to achieve.

Be Knowledgeable. Know your business and always seek to improve yourself and gain new knowledge through study, interaction with others in your field and experience. Being confident comes from being competent.

Accept Responsibility. When something goes wrong figure out what you could have done differently to prevent it. Fix the problem, learn from it, and move on.

Be Credible. Plan well and make good choices. Do what you say you are going to do and follow through in a timely manner.

Motivate. A good leader provides direction through team training, goal setting, problem solving, coaching and counseling. Be accessible to your employees and associates and always make sure they know that they are appreciated and valuable to you and your organization.

Recruit Wisely. As a leader, you want to recruit potential leaders, not just followers. The strength and success of an organization depends on the team as a whole, not on the leader alone. People that are positive, motivated self-starters require less training and attention and will grow your business faster.

Remember that people will join you and your company or team not because they like you, but because they see you as a leader who can help them achieve their goals.

Becoming a leader isn’t easy, but with conscious effort and commitment it can be achieved and the ultimate results, in terms of your company’s growth, will be your reward.

To your success,

Wendy Tait

“Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.”- John Maxwell

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” – John Adams

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