In order to succeed, you must know how to lead.
Leadership is not a position that you are granted, leadership is a set of behaviors that you possess…that inspire others to be their best.
This article is about the 9 things you need in order to lead:
1. You Need to Know Where You’re Going
The first criteria requisite for proper leadership is to know where you’re going. In theological terms, this step would be known as a “necessary condition.” You cannot even hope to lead properly if you are not certain of the direction that you are headed in. And although this may seem self-evident, there are countless leaders leading today, who have no idea where they’re going.
To lead successfully it is essential that you have a clear vision of the future.
2. You Need to Motivate Others
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
You need not plead with others to follow you, just teach them to love what you love. People will gladly follow you simply because they love what you love, and because they want to arrive at the Promised Land with you.
3. You Need to be “The Example”
Leadership is not about talking the talk, …you actually have to walk the walk. You have to be the first convert in the gospel that you preach. You have to be the example, the model, the illustration, and the pattern that you want others to follow, not only with your words, but in your actions. Albert Schweitzer said it best, he said, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”
4. You Need to Take Responsibility
“Victory has a hundred fathers, and defeat is an orphan.” — John F. Kennedy
Leaders take responsibility for failure, and they make adjustments, change course, and begin again as many times as is necessary, because they are keenly aware that they are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the mission.
5. You Need to Know How to Focus
Brandon Sanderson said, “The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.” A great leader knows how to focus their efforts on the critical few items that matter, they understand that it’s not about doing everything right, it’s about doing the “right things.” Great leaders have great focus!
6. You Need to Know Your Strengths
John Maxwell accurately noted that, “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.”
Before someone buys into your vision of the future, they have to buy into you presently. That’s why it’s critical that you know your strengths, and that you continually develop them so that you position yourself as someone who is qualified to be followed.
7. You Need to Know Your Weaknesses
Theodore Roosevelt said, “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
Great leaders not only know their strengths, but they are very aware of their weaknesses, and they use other people to supplement their weaknesses, to ensure success.
8. You Need to Develop Others
Many leaders believe that the goal of leadership is to amass a sea of followers, but the real goal of leadership is to amass a sea of leaders. Only by doing this can you change the world.
Orrin Woodward said, “Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” Develop others to the point that they begin to raise their own bar to heights that you didn’t even think were possible.
9. You Need to Finish the Job You Started
At the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, real leaders succeed! They find a way to convert the vision into reality, they literally ‘will’ success into existence. They sacrifice, they suffer, and then they succeed. Great leaders finish the job they started, they accomplish their mission, and they take us all on an amazing journey with them.
Mr. Self Development is an author who teaches a motivational and practical guide to success. Please visit him at Mr. Self Development.com.