Can Everyone be a Leader?
Some people may be born as natural leaders, but everyone can be a leader and everyone can improve their leadership abilities.
Leadership is not about being the boss. In fact, there are lots of bosses who are terrible leaders, just as there are lots of people who have no title or position but who inspire trust, respect and confidence in others and therefore are excellent leaders. These people are real leaders because their character means that others want to follow them and are willing to put their trust in them.
You can be a leader at any level of an organisation or in any group setting. In a family, in a school classroom, on a sports team and in a small business, if your actions or words can influence others then, whether you realise it or not, you are a leader. Learning to be a good leader is about focusing on your attitudes and how well you relate to others.
Many bosses do not understand that having a title does not give entitlement. Real and effective leadership is earned through demonstrating such qualities as honesty & integrity; respect; empathy; determination; accountability & personal responsibility; and positivity. When a leader has these qualities others follow him or her voluntarily and real progress is made possible.
The first step to developing your leadership abilities is to self-reflect on core leadership values. How aware are you of your personal strengths and weaknesses, especially in relation to how you relate to others? How deeply do you listen?; Do you take time to understand other perspectives (even if you disagree with them)? Could you work on developing a more positive attitude, especially in difficult situations? It’s only through honest self-reflection that any of us can make the changes required to improve as leaders.
The realisation that we are all potential leaders and we all are in situations daily where we are called upon to act as leaders (even if it is as seemingly trivial as getting our children to do their homework before they start on the PlayStation!), means that it is worthwhile for us all to work on our leadership abilities – the starting point is to reflect on how we relate to others. That’s where LIFT will make a difference.