John Fortner asked:
Webster says that leadership is “the position or function of a leader; the ability to lead; an act or instance of leading, guidance, direction.” Do you enjoy leading, guiding or directing? Do you look forward to making decisions that impact the lives of others? Would you rather give the responsibility for making choices to someone else? Most of us have been in a position of authority and all of us have met someone who possesses the qualities of an effective leader.
Being a leader is a difficult task especially if you are given responsibilities that you are not familiar with. If you accept this position, you are going to be scrutinized by how you act, the way you look and the way you talk. It is important to be conscious of your actions because the goal is to project an image of influence. Good leaders possess certain characteristics that can help them gain the respect and recognition of others.
Be A Good Example
The first concept is to lead by example. You need to work harder than those who surround you in order to gain their respect. Demonstrate your dedication by being early and staying late. Distinguish yourself through character and integrity when situations are difficult or they are not going your way. Go the extra mile for those who are in your circle of influence.
Be A Good Listener
The second quality of an effective leader is the ability to listen more and talk less. It is more important to listen to the issues that are being raised instead of expressing your opinion about them. Some individuals have the misconception that a good leader talks as much as possible. Effective leaders realize that listening provides them with a deeper understanding of the needs of those that surround them. It also gives them a greater insight into the issues that must be addressed.
The third concept for effective leadership is the ability to ask the appropriate questions. Analyzing information provides the opportunity to probe the concerns and issues that confront those around you. Express sincerity and as you examine the regards of others. Asking penetrating questions provides the possibility to discover the root causes of problems so that they can be addressed.
The fourth quality of an effective leader is the ability to make decisions. Make a choice and stick to the plan. A conscientious leader will have options if the original solution is not working. With leadership comes the responsibility for making selections that affect the lives of others. If one has taken the input of those who surround them before making a decision, other considerations can be developed. It is important to examine all of the options thoroughly to avoid unnecessary mistakes and failures.
Not everyone wants to lead. If you are the owner of your home business, the head of your family or the director of a social group you are wearing the hat of a leader. Effective leadership is not necessarily an inherent quality. It can be learned and applied to the different areas of your life. Consider these four qualities as a foundation for developing your leadership skills.
“People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher and better than themselves.”