Leadership skills are the most important single factor in determining success or failure in life. The ability to lead is the decisive strength or weakness in communications.
The ability to step up to the plate and provide the necessary leadership is the key determinant of achievement in all human activities. And there has never been a greater need for leaders at all levels than there is today.
One mission of this site is: “grow yourself, grow your business.” One of our aims is to raise leaders in every sphere of life. Today, I decided to write on leadership.
You become a leader in your business and in the world around you by practicing the qualities and behaviors of leaders who have gone before you. Like any set of skills, leadership is developed by practice and repetition, over and over again, until you master it.
Perhaps, the best news is that leaders are made, not born.
A person becomes a leader when leaders are needed, and the individual rises to the occasion. Do you have what it takes to do that?
Many men and women have lived average lives for years until a situation arises that requires that they step forward and accept the mantle of leadership, with all that entails.
I compiled the following lessons to raise you to a higher level of leadership in every sphere of life.
Leadership Skill #1 – Integrity
Great leadership is characterized by honesty, truthfulness, and straight dealing with every person, under all circumstances. No exceptions. It doesn’t matter what their political views are, who they love, or what they look like.
If you want to be a true bad-ass leader, you need to start acting like one, and it starts with treating people with RESPECT.
Integrity means keeping commitments, even though the circumstance in which you made them have changed.
There is a famous quote that says: “when integrity is the referee, your lips and your life will be in agreement. Your behaviors will mirror your beliefs. There’ll be no discrepancy between what you appear to be and who you are, whether in good times or bad.”
Integrity is not only the referee between opposing value systems, but it’s also the decision-maker between being at peace and being fragment within. It frees you to become a whole person no matter what comes your way.
Leadership is, therefore, a trust conferred upon you by others. To earn this trust, to deserve this trust. You’ll be true to yourself by telling the truth.
Good leaders are completely reliable. People can take them at their word and trust that they will do what they say. They make promises carefully, and then they always keep their word. They deliver when they say they will. It sounds simple, but think about the number of people you trust wholeheartedly. It’s a small number.
As a leader, you need integrity within your team; this is one of the greater assets of the Spartans.
Integrity may not seem like a big deal now, but your lack of it will have far-reaching consequences.
The Story Of China
The people of China built the great wall to protect themselves from the barbaric hordes from the north. It was so high nobody could climb over it, and so thick nobody could break through it, so they settled back to enjoy life.
During the first hundred years of the wall is existence, China was invaded three different times. Not once did the enemy try to break down the wall or climb over it; they simply bribed the gatekeeper and marched in. At least, that’s how the legend goes.
While those who built it were relying on their wall of stone, they neglected to teach integrity to their children. As a result, they grow up without moral and spiritual principle to guide them.
Have you ever watched a big tree fall while other nearby trees stood tall? How come the same storm that builds strength in one, topples another? You’ll find the answer in the tree’s core and roots. Are you getting the idea?
When it comes to building integrity, here are some questions you should ask yourself regularly.
- Am I the same, no matter who I’m with?
- Am I willing to make decisions that are best for others, even though another choice would benefit me more?
- Can I be counted on to keep the commitment I’ve made to God, myself, and others?
- How do I treat others who are subordinate to me when no one is watching?
Leadership Skill #2 – Courage
The ability to make decisions and act boldly is the key to greatness in leadership. Your ability to speak, to step out in faith even when there is a chance of loss or failure, is the mark of leadership.
Courage is not a lack of fear or absence of fear; it is the ability to control fear. Leadership is the mastery of fear.
Steve Ross said you couldn’t operate a company by fear, because the way to eliminate fears is to avoid criticism. And the way to avoid criticism is to do nothing.
Often times, criticism shows us setback, but courage tells you to move on. Everyone is afraid: leaders are simply those who face their fears and take action in spite of their fears.
The habit of courage is developed by speaking courageously whenever courage is called for.
Leadership Skill #3 -Realism
I once told a friend, “the first mistake a human makes in life is to take life the way they want life to be rather than taking life the way it is.
Leaders speak to the world as it is, not as they wish it would be. Your ability and your willingness to be completely realistic in your life and work are among the most important qualities of leadership.
Concentrate on getting the facts. Facts don’t lie. To be better equipped, you need to arm yourself with facts.
The quality of your decision is mainly determined by the quality of information on which those decisions are based.
Use data to back up the things you say. You are nothing more than your word. If you live in an alternate reality, people may follow you for a while, but eventually (even if it takes years), they’ll realize you’re a snake in the weeds.
Leadership Skill #4 – Power
Power gravitates to the person who can use it most effectively to get the desired results. Speak with power, and you will control your world.
Power is the ability to influence the allocation of people, money, and resources.
Power is invariably the ‘power to say’’. When you demonstrate your ability to get results with the power you have, you will attract to yourself opportunities to expand your power.
You must speak up and not remain quiet.
The first step in acquiring power and influence is for you to become valuable and then indispensable.
An essential principle of power is that “power always arises to fill a vacuum” you can create power for yourself by stepping into the moments for the result to come out.
Learning how to use power is very essential for every leader. On the use of power, I will leave you with this thought-provoking quote from Gbenga Daniel, which says; “the best use of power is when you have it and don’t use it.”
Leadership Skill #5 – Ambition
Leaders have an intense desire to lead. To have a clear vision of a better future, and the determination to realize it is what sets leaders apart.
Leaders are visional. Vision is the one standard quality that separate leaders from followers. Leaders have a clear picture of the kind of future they want and the one they want to create, and they can communicate this vision to others in an exciting and inspiring way.
Leadership Skill #6 – Optimism
The true leader radiates the confidence that all difficulties can be overcome and all goals can be attained.
Leaders speak optimistically. Optimism in a leader inspires and empowers people to believe that they can do more and be better than they ever have before.
It is one of the most powerful communication skills of all the qualities of leadership and success.
Optimists are “can say” and “can do” people.
They look for the good and say the good in every situation. When something goes wrong, they say, “That’s good” and then looks for something good within the problem or difficulty.
And they always find it and say it.
Optimists focus on the future rather than the past. They think of resurrection and not the funeral. They look for opportunity in every difficulty. Above all, optimists are solution-oriented rather than problem-oriented.
Leadership Skill #7 – Emotional Maturity
Leaders are calm, relaxed, and controlled in the face of problems, difficulties, and adversity. They can speak with confidence.
Emotional maturity is one of the most essential and respected qualities in leadership. It requires, first, that you are at peace with yourself and, second, that you remain calm in the face of adversity and difficulty.
Emotional maturity enables you to speak in public without becoming nervous or angry. It allows you to stay centered and balanced, to be calm, more creative, and more effective in everything you do.
Putting It All Together!
The leadership of any organization is what drives it to success or failure; it takes companies from ‘Good’ to ‘Great’ and from ‘Good’ to ‘Bad.’ As someone who is striving for success in one or more areas of life; you need to hone your leadership skills to be able to reach your goals in life.
Over To You
So, what are the other advice, tips, strategies, techniques, or methods that have worked for you? Please share with us in the comment below. I sincerely value your opinion more than mine. And don’t forget there is love in sharing!
The Money Mix is a resource dedicated to money and personal finance. Our mission is to create a healthy conversation about strategies to make and save money, build wealth and how to achieve life-changing goals through taking control of your life.