Whether you know it or not; you are a leader. In some aspect of your life; whether at work, home, or even in social settings, you are leading someone. In fact, as J.R. Miller so eloquently puts it: ‘There have been meetings of only a moment which have left impressions for life, for eternity. No one can understand that mysterious thing we call influence…yet…every one of us continually exerts influence, either to heal, to bless, to leave marks of beauty; or to wound, to hurt, to poison, to stain other lives’. For this reason it is crucial for you as a leader to establish your leadership skills upon the following foundational rules.
1. Lead by Action
At the very basic level it is important to understand that the best way to lead others is by your actions rather than by your words. When it comes to leading others, there is nothing more foundational than to lead by way of example. If you are confident enough in what you are preaching, then you should be the first to ‘practice what you preach’. Most people tend to be attracted to genuine leaders; leaders who promote their cause by living it. That way, people can easily determine what you stand for and if you are worth following. Ultimately, people want to know if they can trust you enough to lead them where they need to go.
2. Lead with Love
‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’
Leadership begins with the heart, not the head. Your leadership is only as effective as you are at maintaining a lasting relationship with your followers. This is the reason many potential leaders fail; they begin to rely more on the power associated with their position rather than on building solid relationships with their followers. As a result these followers become less and less willing to follow and will look for a more rewarding leader. You as a leader must strive to continually tend to the hearts of your followers.
3. Lead with Purpose
Your leadership requires you to be intentional. If you are up for the difficult task of leading others then you need to your followers and yourself a favour by leading with a well-defined purpose. Leadership requires vision to be able to see well into the future. You can easily achieve this by starting with the end in mind. Determine how you want your followers to grow and plan how you intend on getting them where you want them to be. Don’t hold back on sharing your vision; your followers are more likely to support you when they share the same vision.
These three simple rules can have a massive impact on the way you lead and should be constantly practiced. There are many leadership skills that you can develop, but these simple rules are the pillars upon which all other skills are built.
Are you struggling to lead others? How are you managing it? Please feel free to share your comments or thoughts below.