As I said in my “About Me” piece, I am a strong believer in leadership of self. I spend a lot of time developing myself as a person, and therefore developing myself as a leader. This morning, I was listening to a podcast by David T. S. Wood (you can listen to it here) about “Amplifying the Leader in You” and I wanted to share with you all some of the gold nuggets.
- “Leaders are dealers in hope”. This is a Napoléon Bonaparte quote that I feel surmises leadership perfectly. As a leader, one must learn to be a light in the dark for all of the people who surround them. Understand that even the smallest gift you give someone could change their life. Be positive. Conquer negativity. And for me personally, own your smile.
- Leaders get excited about conflict. Every great leader knows that there is something to be learnt in conflict. They know that they will be tested; stretched further than they have before. Your strength is being about to navigate conflict without taking it personally. Leaders know that every mistake is a lesson waiting to be discovered.. which brings me to my next point:
- Leaders do not live with guilt and regret. For me, forgiveness is the best way to live a happy life. That’s not to say that practicing it will be easy – but it is important. Don’t just forgive others, forgive yourself as well. A leader knows that every human will make mistakes, so don’t take it personally. Your knowledge is the sum of all the mistakes you’ve ever made.
- The leader’s greatest asset is confidence. This comes from John Maxwell’s “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”. Read it, love it, use it.
- The leader’s greatest handicap is pride and ego. And;
- The leader’s greatest mistake is putting self before others. Now, this is important. But, before you can ever love and teach others, you must first learn to love and teach yourself. Never stop being grateful for the people around you, or for yourself. Great leaders are those who know the way, show the way, and go the way.
For me, number seven is the most important…
- The leader’s greatest victory is victory over self. No battle is harder fought or more proudly won than the battle over your own self confidence and self-esteem. Make yourself the primary investment in your life. Spend time learning, developing and growing. Don’t listen to the devil who sits on your shoulder; he won’t help you. Think about the people you surround yourself with. It was Jim Rohn who said “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Don’t be scared to tell people you don’t like their attitude, and don’t be scared to remove negativity from your life. It’s not healthy, and it’s not helpful.
- The greatest loss of a leader is hope. Don’t chase dreams, chase goals instead. Dreams don’t exist. Chasing goals takes ambition, effort, and courage; dreaming is what you do in your sleep.
This is just a few of the lessons I’ve learned about leadership today. What have you learned about leadership in your life? What do you think makes a leader? And what do you implement in your day to day life that makes you a great leader? Think about it. I bet there’s something.
Don’t ever forget that there is nothing wrong with being the odd one out. Owning your individuality takes more courage than joining the crowd.