Leadership? Can you define leadership, and if so, how can you tell if it is active in your life? Can you give an honest, personal assessment of your leadership skills without exaggerating and exasperating the excuse column? Most people will gauge their leadership skills as favorable by using one to three creepy friends that do not have half the brain to think for themselves. My intention is not humiliate or rag on people in general, but rather to point out that when a person takes a census of their leadership abilities, they should use a few mentally healthy people. Allow me to give you what I deem as the five most powerful leadership principles in a capsule. If you will adopt these principles as your own, you are sure to be on your way to positively affecting the lives of many people. Well, without further ado, let us get down to business.
PRINCIPLE 1- Know Thyself
Knowing yourself is not only primary, but a premium also. If you are not sure of your strengths and weaknesses, you will always find yourself second-guessing yourself. Not only will this be a problem for you, but also this breeds uncertainty and insecurities. These poor qualities are an ineptitude that creates huge holes in your character. Work hard at first accepting and being responsible for your character flaws. Do not be afraid to confront your insecurities, poor people skills, and most dominant fear. At least by doing these, it can help facilitate your personal growth and increase the probability of you becoming a good leader.
PRINCIPLE 2- Survey Your Consistency Status
If others notice you as a person who seems to be constant in word and in action, this consensus reveals a powerful strength. People will not have to second-guess your actions because they realize what is normalcy with you. On the other hand, if your behavior patterns are inconsistent with words, this creates uncertainty in people on how to respond to you and increases your chances of people not liking you.
PRINCIPLE 3- Do Not Depend On Your Talent
If there is one mistake I see all potentially great leaders make is their propensity to lean on their natural talent as though that will be enough to pull him or her through the hard-pressed and difficult times. Not so, talent is not enough! Talent alone will not beat the best of your opponents. Talented people can go far, but they cannot go all the way. Understanding leadership is developing your talents for maximum effort, coupled with heart and a strong desire. Therefore, when your talent is not enough, your extra work and development will kick in to take you over the top.
PRINCIPLE 4- Increase Your Communication Skills
It is not only what you say, but also how you say it. I learned a long time ago that people rarely hear what you say; they see how you say it. Like words, gestures are communication. They both tell the listener what you mean as you speak. Your unapologetic character flaws causes people to consider your verbal flaws and actions before they decide to seriously listen to you. Work at getting all communication hindrances and debris out of the way, so that what you say, and how you say it is well thought-out by the listener; which may erase what you may have previously said or done.
PRINCIPLE 5- Seek to Influence Lives not Change Them
To try to change someone’s life is an attitude of superiority and is condescending to say the least. I often say that my aim is not to impress you, but to impress upon you the importance of what I am saying. Understanding leadership is consistent with understanding people. Good leaders realize that people do not change people. People change their own behavior based on what they see and hear. Feeding people the right stuff causes their actions to be right and vice versa. You would be surprised at how much data can be gathered to aid in the proper development of a person just by watching and hearing their leader as he or she lives their daily lives.
If there were only one word to define and describe leadership, it would be INFLUENCE.