“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
– John C. Maxwell
Be the Leader of Your Life
In my early 20s, I was a follower devoted to society’s formula for success and happiness seeking comfort and complacency. The recipe was a step-by-step guide to having an illusional safe and problem-free life.
All I had to do was to obey the script.
However, despite obtaining everything society wanted me to have, I lacked fulfillment and happiness.
To find my answer, I went on a long self-discovery journey to find myself. After rocking the boat and challenging the status quo, I took initiative and worked on goals I created for myself.
That’s when I became the leader of my life.
After discovering my core values, I envisioned myself living a congruent life aligned with my beliefs while contributing to a greater cause that’s much bigger than myself. All my skills and wisdom must be paid forward and given back to humanity.
By leading my life, I strictly focused on activities that brought my vision closer to reality. Regardless of what my results were, I was always in control of my feelings and behaviors despite external events.
Instead of being a victim and reacting to life, I stayed grounded to my purpose and responded with effective actions. By becoming a creator of my own life, I have also led others by example as a byproduct.
Create a Positive and Powerful Vision for Yourself and Others
Without a strong and positive vision, others will have an extremely difficult time working with you. That’s because they won’t believe the cause they’re doing is worthwhile and meaningful.
For them to produce greatness and excellence, they must believe their contribution is bringing them closer to make the vision a reality.
To become a great leader, you must have a compelling vision that evokes motivation and conviction in your team. With your aspiring mission, you create S-M-A-R-T goals by challenging the status quo to make steady progress.
As a result, your team members know their exact responsibilities for achieving each manageable and realistic goals.
Enabling Trust Is the Foundation of Great Leadership
Trust is the paramount quality of strong and thriving leadership. Here are some behaviors that don’t display trust.
Not telling the entire story
Acting or speaking disrespectfully
The simple act of not being completely honest on even the small issues, you are sub-communicating to others you’re also susceptible to lying to them about the important matters.
Therefore, distrust is the number one killer in destroying relationships. To build trust, you can do the following:
Setting clear expectations
Under-promising and over-delivering
Making others’ priorities your priorities
The above acts translate to delivering news in a timely manner even though you may not have all the information. It’s better for others to know partially now instead of keeping them in the dark.
Among all the ways to build trust, leading by example is by far the best.
By following through your words with action, you hold yourself accountable. This in return lets others know you’re a man of character who lives with a high level of integrity. With clear communication of expectations, you can persuade others to hold themselves accountable since you also do that for yourself.
Because your team members are your greatest asset, you must treat their priorities as your priorities. As a result, they will believe what’s important to them is also crucial to you.
For example, if your employees need extra time to meet a project deadline because of the client’s last-minute changes. You must speak with senior management and ask for more time to complete the necessary tasks.
This shows you genuinely care about your team’s needs.
Trust takes time to build, but it only takes seconds to break. Therefore, ensure you’re always maintaining and flourishing it with your team.
Great Leadership Demonstrates Genuineness and Fairness
Great leaders genuinely care and are fair in their treatment for everyone. They show the following qualities and traits:
Active listening skills with appropriate action
Curiosity and feelings
Encouragement for work/life balance
Gratitude for leading others
In practicality, you take time out of your life to engage and care for your colleagues.
There’s no such thing as not having enough time. If you truly care, you’ll make the time. It’s simple as that. Your team members will appreciate your genuineness and reciprocate with higher levels of productivity and quality of work.
To treat everyone with fairness, you can do the following:
Be consistent with their behavior, expectations, and decisions
Provide praise in public
Criticize in private
Give deserving credit to the team
Support your team during honest mistakes
Treat everyone with respect and expects everyone to do the same
Create an encouraging environment where success is achievable
Having fairness doesn’t mean you must treat everyone equally. It can vary depending on your team members’ needs. For example, if one of your coworkers needs more time from you to help them develop a particular skill compared to the rest of the team, then you must dedicate the necessary resources to help your colleague thrive.
But as a great leader, your level of commitment to each team member’s growth and success is the same.
Increased loyalty and engagement are some benefits of treating your team with fairness. As a result, you’ll have higher quality results and happier team members who enjoy working with you.
A truly great leader has a positive vision for himself and his team. In addition, he listens carefully because he doesn’t know everything.
Having the humility to learn from everyone around him, he remains curious and respectful. Valuing growth, great leaders appreciate and openly accepts constructive feedback. By doing so, they can take the required steps to improve and become better.
Even if you’re not in a formal leadership position, you’re always the leader in your own life. That’s because you’re responsible for everything that happens to you. Ask yourself:
“What’s my vision for myself?”
“How do I want to live my life?”
“What will my life look like five years from now?”
You’re the only person that can make your vision into a reality. Leading by example, you will attract others who reciprocate. In return, you will bond and travel together on the journey.
On the path of greatness, you will inspire those around you to unlock their fullest potential.
In addition to being a great leader, you’re also a great follower of people who inspire you to do amazing things. You must have an open mind and the willingness to try new things to achieve different results.
With the enormous power to lead your life and those around you, create a beneficial and impactful vision for yourself.
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