Hopefully you noticed that the term “Non Leaders” is in quotation marks. That’s because a lot of people see themselves or believe that they are “Non Leaders”. But that’s not the case; leadership can be learnt and nurtured. It’s a skill like many other skills that we can all develop and grow. I think that the term “Non Leaders” forms a mental stumbling block. We are all leaders, like we are all singers. There are just bad leaders and good leaders as there are good singers and bad singers.
On that same breath i will say that leadership doesn’t start overnight, no one wakes up one day leading multitudes of people to the Promised Land. Great leadership takes time, patience and practice. Before you can start leading publicly you start privately. The same way before you go for a dance audition, you dance in your living room and for your family. It’s the same with leadership, it starts at home. Leadership starts in the circles you are currently in, you do not need to be promoted or to get a new job to start leading.
7 Leadership Qualities
1. Positive mental attitude
Let’s be honest, would you follow someone with a negative attitude and outlook on life? To be a leader you need to have positive mental attitude towards life and towards others. Start but not defining yourself as a “Non Leader” .People with a positive mental attitude are people who are going places in life, and only people who are going places in life can lead others there. The best way i have seen to change my mental attitude is to just start doing things i never saw myself doing before, that is guaranteed to start changing perspectives. A positive mental attitude creates a mind-set of abundance, enthusiasm, and solutions. Always remember – attitudes are contagious.
2. Encourage Others
Once you change your mind-set to a positive mental attitude you will realise how many opportunities life offers. At that stage you can encourage others through positive and constructive feedback. Some people only need a little encouragement to achieve greatness. Through encouragement you build a personal relationship which will help you in becoming a great leader.
3. Listen more, talk less.
Listening allows you to be in tune with your environment. Strive to talk less about yourself and be interested more in other people. As a leader you are leading other people and you will only know how to lead them if you listen to them. People also like to be heard, and want to know that someone listens and cares about their plight. When we listen we can learn about the other person’s motivations. When we understand those, we are in a better position to guide and influence them.
You need followers. You will not get followers if you do not engage with others. The more diverse your engagement the better because you will learn what matters to different groups of people. Also engaging with people who think differently will challenge your thinking which enables you to learn new things.
5. Follow in the same way that you want to be followed.
As you learn to be a leader you will not always be in a situation to lead, so you need to learn how to follow with the same zeal that you would like to be followed. Being a great follower will also allow you to observe closely how others lead, which you can learn from. Being a good follower will involve keeping your manager informed, always supporting your managers, embracing change, bringing solutions (not problems) to your manager, admitting your mistakes, being a team player and being the eternal optimist.
6. Embrace a learning culture.
Being effective requires us to continually learn and develop ourselves. In doing this, we can become a positive role model for others, helping them see the importance of learning as well.
7. Keep improving your communication skills.
Different people respond to different methods of communication. You need to be a great communicator in order to share your vision with others. By developing your communication skills continually you address your weak areas and identify your strength zones. How will you lead if you cannot communicate? By understanding your personal style of communicating, you will go a long way towards creating a good and lasting impression with others
The 7 qualities that have been mentioned above do not need a particular setting to be effective, these principles can be applied at home, work or at your social club. Remember that great leadership takes time, patience and practice.