Have you ever heard the saying “(Name) was born a leader”? If you have, do you believe that saying to be true? I believe that people are great and successful leaders because of the skills and behaviors they have or obtain throughout life. The saying might be true while some people have the skills and behaviors it takes to be a good leader without hardly trying, but I also think that anyone can become a great leader, as long as they have the motivation to learn the skills and behaviors it takes. I have listed out a few steps that will help you build your skills and behaviors, to help you grow as a great successful leader.
1. Write down your goals
I am sure you’ve heard before that if you want to achieve a goal, you need to write it down. I know it might sound a bit silly or cliche but research shows it actually does work. Even if you don’t look at your goals again after you write them down you still are 42% more likely to achieve those goals than if you didn’t write them down. So take the first step, grab that pen and paper, or even just open the notes on your phone and start writing down your short term and long term goals you want to achieve.
2. Identify your motivation
To continue to learn and grow takes a lot of self-motivation. Before you can grow as a leader, you must know the “why” behind your drive. As Simon Sinek stated, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it“. Your motivation is the foundation of your ability to be effective in your role and will continue to fuel your growth time and time again. Once you find that “why” behind your motivation it will continue to drive you forward in everything you do.
3. Learn from your failures and appreciate feedback
Everyone fails at some point, but that is where a leader is shown from the rest. Failure means we refuse to get back up and deal with our problems. True leaders take failures as an opportunity to grow and do better the next time. They get back up and learn from that failure. Changing your mindset is a huge advantage in this situation. Start to look at failures as a step in the right direction, guiding and helping you, and stop looking at failure as such a bad thing. The same thing goes for feedback. No one likes hearing that they’ve done something wrong, but if you try to view all feedback as an opportunity to develop and grow you will go farther in life. The best leaders realize failures and feedback help them improve so they can do better in the future.
4. Learn from those with more experience
Your peers and elders are the best people to learn from. They have been where you are at one point and know what it takes to get there. They can teach you to listen when you want to speak, to stop and think when you want to react, to keep trying when you want to quit and each of those little steps will help you grow into a great leader.
5. Gain experience
Look for opportunities to gain experience in every area of your life, not just in your current profession. Perhaps it is volunteering, taking on a new work project, or even a change in your work position. All experiences will help you progress in your leadership skills. Helping others succeed is a leadership goal and every time you help someone else grow, you grow as well. The key is to not stay stagnant in your position and growth process.
6. Invest in yourself
If you are truly wanting to become a better leader then you need to invest in yourself and your growth. It’s not going to be easy but start by surrounding yourself with those who uplift you and challenge you to become a better person each and every day. Take time for yourself each day to grow and work on your new skills we talked about above.
Leadership is important and it takes a lot of effort to be successful. Write down your goals, identify what makes you motivated, learn from your failures, and those with more experience, lead when opportunities present themselves and remember to also take the time to invest in yourself. Start with those first few steps to begin gaining your skills and behaviors to become a great leader.