Many people believe that leaders are born not made. This misguided belief keeps many from developing their leadership skills and reaching their potential. Sure, there are some people who are more natural leaders than others, but leadership is a skill that can be learned. You can show you are a great leader even if you are not in a position of authority. Let’s take a look at 7 ways to develop your leadership skills.
Be helpful at solving problems
Good leaders are ones that solve problems and help others solve problems. Whether you are in school, have a career, or both – gain a reputation around the office as a problem solver and a helper. Top leaders are known because they help people solve problems – not because everyone likes them or because of their charm.
Be a self starter
Be a self starter in all areas. That means taking the initiative to work on projects assigned to you as well as coming up with your own research to look for ways to help the company. You can’t be a leader without being a self starter.
If you have some experience around the office, take a newbie under your wing and show them the ropes. They will be eternally grateful and will sing your praises around the office. And what better way to practice your leadership skills than to help someone.
Practice what you preach
A survey done by leadership authors Kuzes and Pozner found that the number one quality people look for in leaders is that they live by the principles they talk about. That means you keep your word and you walk the walk not just talk the talk. Being a leader is more about showing than telling.
Lead through collaboration not an iron fist
The best leaders are respected and loved by their people. Leading is done through building a string team willing to follow you and get the job done – not an iron fisted dictator barking orders and scaring people. A great leader recognizes people’s strengths and utilizes them so they as well as the organization are successful.
Be an encourager
Being positive in a negative world is somewhat of a lost art these days. People should leave your presence feeling uplifted and motivated to take on the day – not irritated and feeling pessimistic. Encourage others and be positive.
Gain the trust of others
Gaining trust means never giving people at school or the office a reason to not trust you. You should always keep your word and be a person of integrity.