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What does it take to be a great leader?

“A leader is a person who has people following them, because they want to.” Larry Wilson

Isn’t this a great quote? Leadership is not a title – it’s how you lead people towards a vision, and created that desire amongst your team to support your endeavors.

It all starts by creating an environment where every member of the team feels valued. More importantly, a good leader will know when to be a follower and when to be a leader. As a leader, you should strive to empower your team members to become leaders. Not only does it create higher engagement, but team members acting as leaders learn to take ownership and full accountability for their work. Chris Haggerty said something that I absolutely love: “The goal of most leaders is to get the people to think highly of them as a leader, but the goal of the exceptional leader is to get the people to think highly of themselves.” That’s why empowering your team members to become leaders and to know when to be a follower is essential.

True leaders also lead by example. True leaders know how to lead themselves. They can give themselves a command and follow it. Leaders possess discipline and conviction. A leader knows where they are going. They don’t let the outside world influence their vision and therefore they are able to make definite and prompt decisions. A leader understands that regardless of obstacles, the goal remains constant, even though the plan to get there may change and evolve. A true leader is able to reject negative news or thoughts that do not serve them and refocus on their goal. If you let outside circumstances control you and get emotionally involved with them, the results you will get will be dictated by the outside and unlikely the ones you were targeting. A great leader stays in control no matter what’s happening on the outside. For example, maybe the economy is not doing well, maybe there is a crisis occurring as we had with COVID-19. The great leader stays focused on the goal and looks for the opportunities in the challenges. A leader is a person that knows they can create and achieve anything they want – regardless of circumstances. A leader knows who they are and possesses great self-control. It is important to note that if you can’t control your thoughts, feelings and actions, you will never be able to lead others. So leadership starts with self-control and having a good attitude regardless of what’s going on outside. In fact, it is easy to have a good attitude when things are going well, the true leader has a good attitude even when things are not going well or are challenging. How do they do they do that? They know where they are going and don’t let circumstances control them. They choose their thoughts.

A great leader will automatically look for and find the good in others and create an environment and situations that brings out the good in others which is why the leader is the person others want to follow. One of the key stones of leadership is to leave everyone with an impression of increase, leave everyone better off than you found them, and you can do that by focusing on what people do well and bringing it to their attention. Make it a habit about pointing out something good in others. A leader notices things – no matter how small they are.

At last, true leaders also understand that if a person is not prepared to do more than they are being paid for, they will never be paid for more than what they are doing. Leaders are ready to go above and beyond and take full responsibility for mistakes made by their team members. True leaders commit every day to doing things better and to do them in a certain way.

So out of all these qualities (and the list is not exhaustive), which ones are you going to focus on this week and embrace? What inspired action are you going to take to demonstrate your leadership? Pick one thing and start there. See the difference it makes in your team.

I’d like to finish this blog with this quote:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more,

you are a leader.” -John Quincy Adams

Lu Tandazo - Success Mindset Coach

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