Martin Luther King Jr. Eleanor Rosevelt. Gandhi. Winston Churchill. George Washington. Queen Victoria. Alexander the Great. What do all these famous figures have in common? They were all great leaders.
Being a leader is not an easy task. It takes dedication and drive as well as humility and grace. Some of the most effective leaders are born with these talents of bringing people together and creating something great. Other leaders learn as they go and gain skills and a dedicated following.
Leadership is a huge responsibility. To have people looking up to you for wisdom and instruction should not be taken lightly. If you’re looking to lead, whether it be within your business, an extracurricular project, or within social justice reforms, there are a few traits you’ll need to embody. Natural born leaders practice these every day to become the best leader they can be.
Initially, it may seem like leadership is all about talking and taking control, but it is so much more than that. You can’t communicate the needs or platform of a group without first listening to the people you’re representing. CEOs and big wigs within companies often exist in their own bubble. They only surround themselves with like-minded individuals and miss out on fresh opinions and new creative solutions to problems.
Listening to your constituents or employees lets them know that you take them seriously. Creating a work environment where everyone genuinely feels valued reaps great benefits. It cultivates teamwork and positivity within the organization. So rather than yelling orders, actively listen to what the team needs to succeed.
Leaders are the first to admit they can’t do everything on their own. You’re in charge of a wide group of people with a vast array of skills. Embrace those. Once you get to know your team through active listening, you can engage everyone with tasks that fit their strengths. Not only are you giving your employees autonomy, but you free up time for yourself to achieve your goals. Delegating gives you the flexibility to prioritize certain tasks and let the staff know your precise timeline.
As a leader, you have to learn to communicate. Your team will be more motivated to help you when you’re clear about what you’re trying to accomplish. When you are clear and direct, you avoid confusion and frustration.
Your job is to inspire. Inspire yourself, your team, and even the world. In the modern era, leaders have huge platforms on social media. Executives like Mark Wiseman take to twitter to promote global investments and financial sustainability for everyone. His platform expands from Ontario to the whole world. As a leader, your responsibility is to communicate with the world at large from any and all platforms.
Constantly learning more is a common quality of natural-born leaders. You can always grow and improve, and educating yourself is how you do this. Great leaders want to find new solutions to problems and engage with information.
You set the tone for your environment. If your place of work never allows for failure, you also never allow for growth. Prove that it’s okay to say “I don’t know yet, but I’ll learn” and then encourage research. No one is perfect right away, so educate yourself along the way and create an environment where learning is revered.
Lastly, great leaders are great encouragers. Leading through fear and anger doesn’t make for a dedicated following. Encouragement creates harmony and purpose. Take the time to engage with the people you’re leading and let them know how valuable they are. Natural born leaders embrace the need for positivity and encouragement in the workplace. And their team members love and respect them all the more for it.