The best way to lead is by example. Babies learn from watching other people; why do we assume that something innate goes away as we get older? Why do we assume we’re above that once we master other abilities such as speech and understanding? These are merely other tools in the box. If we believe practice makes perfect, then shouldn’t the thing we’ve been practicing the longest be the thing we’re best at?
I believe everybody has leadership potential. During college, I was fortunate enough to see leaders of every size and shape develop before my eyes. More importantly, I was able to do this with them instead of watching from the sidelines. When we put our skills into practice they morph int stronger, more defined qualities of our being. When this happens living each day as a leader becomes natural. Demonstrating your abilities isn’t work, or at thing you do consciously; it’s part of you.
There’s no hard and fast definition of leadership, just check the dictionary. See if it provides any insight (and if it does please let me know). However, there are some common elements that make up a leader. You can’t lead if you always follow. If you never look for an opportunity to show off, you’re not going to reach your full potential. I don’t believe leaders should be humble when thinking about their abilities. I think confidence and awareness are essential for leadership qualities to display at their maximum. That being said, you won’t gain respect as a leader if you have your chest puffed out with your nose in the air all the time.
Respect is a necessary quality for others to describe in a leader. Who is going to follow you if nobody respects you? How do you earn the respect of others? You don’t have to modify your life to fit their expectations. You give respect to get it. Have your own ideas and philosophies but understand that not everybody will agree with them and not everybody will like you for them. You should be confident enough in them that it doesn’t matter. Your confidence can take you places you only dreamed you could go.
Cliche time (Oh! The Places You’ll Go):
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Go out and lead, you have it in you, I know you do. Seize the opportunities life brings you. We can all do it; together better than apart. Just look inside and follow your heart.