by Chris Widener
What? You don’t think that you are a leader? You are!
Everyone influences others to some degree. Now, you may not be a very good leader… but that is altogether a different story! Even if you are in need of some help in the leadership department, and we all are, here are some skills you can work on immediately to help you become the leader you want to be. Then you can influence those around you like never before!
1. Good Communicator.Extraordinary Leaders are those who can take the vision they have and communicate it in ways that their followers can easily understand, internal, and own. Then, and only then, can they carry it out! So focus on speaking and writing more clearly, and with the passion that you have for the vision you have. Use different ways of communicating, including different ways verbally and non-verbally. Above all, communicate often!
2.”Sees” the End Result Long Before Others. I think the greatest compliment on my leadership skills I ever received came from a gentleman who told me that “you see things about 6 months before the rest of us.” Without tooting my own horn (okay, a little bit maybe…), that is a skill of a leader. They are always looking out ahead of themselves and their situations. Followers are worried about what happens today, while leaders are thinking about and strategizing about what they see for tomorrow. Be constantly looking ahead. Practice making projections. Get good at “seeing” the future. When you can do this better than others, they will look to you for leadership!
3. Ability to Define Goals for Self and Others. Do you know what your goals are? Can you define them? Can you articulate them clearly (see number one)? Can you do this for those who follow? Can you define and set their goals? A Extraordinary Leader works at clarity and definition of goals so that they can be internalized and acted upon by others. Work hard at this skill and others will follow!
4. Ability to Set Strategy and Course of Action. What will you do to reach the goal? Many people can say where we should go, but it is the Extraordinary Leader who can lay out a plan for everyone to get there! Work at laying out a plan for you and your followers. Remember that there are people with different skill and passion levels, and take this into account! Get good at this and when people want to get to their goals in a hurry, they will call on you to lead!
5. Ability to Teach Others. One of the greatest leadership development companies in the world has been General Electric. This is because their CEO, Jack Welch, has always emphasized the need for current leaders to teach others. He himself spends what others would consider an extraordinary amount of time in the classroom teaching. But remember, he is an Extraordinary Leader and he is developing Extraordinary Leaders to follow behind him. Work hard at your teaching techniques, and be sure to use as many situations as possible for the opportunity to teach those who would follow.
6. Ability to Inspire Others. You may have a great goal, but if you want to be an Extraordinary Leader, then you will have to put a little oomph under your followers! This is the ability to inspire! Work at helping them to see the big picture, the great end results, and how good it is going to be for them and others. Above all, make it exciting. If it is a good goal, it should be exciting. If it isn’t exciting, then dump it and get a goal that others can get excited about!
7. Delegates. An Extraordinary Leader is rarely a person who is doing everything him or herself. Extraordinary Leaders get there job done through others. They figure out the way, communicate the way, and inspire the followers to go that way, and then they get OUT OF THE WAY! Delegate to your people. Empower them! Set them free to soar! This is what an Extraordinary Leader does. Leaders who do it any other way are just extraordinarily tired at the end of the day with very little to show for it!
Chris Widener is a popular speaker and author who has shared the podium with US Presidents, helping individuals and organizations succeed in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams.
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