I know a lot of people with leadership skills that are wasting away. They think if they wait eventually they can lead. They hope that sometime in the distant future they’ll be in charge and it’ll be their time to shine. My response to them is always the same. Your Time Is Now. How To Lead people is a blog post I’ve written to help break people free of the confines of position.
Leadership skills NEVER depend on your position. Instead, they depend on your character and influence. It’s hard to skate by as a leader with neither of these characteristics.
Leadership Is A Skill and it’s a very important one. Everybody utilizes it differently and it has many variations. Sometimes thinking of it as a superpower that you need to control help.
When you don’t know who you are, why are people going to follow you?
How To Lead People In Your Everday Life?
This is the primary question, isn’t it? What leadership skills do you possess? How will you get people to follow you, even if you’re not in charge?
John Maxwell gives us a great secret about leadership. The secret is influence, nothing more, and nothing less. When you have influence over people it means they trust you, and want your input. When you’re working on a team at work, and you’re just a member of the team,
- What kind of input do you give?
- Are you encouraging others to do their best?
- Do You Help, Even If It’s Not Your Job
These are all examples of things you can do to increase influence on the team. Notice I didn’t say over the team, I’m not about manipulation, and while there’s a fine line in the leadership/manipulation world. I like to draw the line at where they’re headed.
- Is The Group Headed To Something Mutually Beneficial?
- Or Are They Headed To Something The Leader Wants?
Leadership Coaching & Development Is Extremely Important
For people who don’t think they’re there yet. A quick call to a leadership coach can change your outlook. A leadership coach can help you plot out your path and avoid major pitfalls.
Total Disclosure, Over the years I’ve met a couple of leadership coaches, but have never had the chance to use one. However I’m always annoyed at myself for not using them, I feel it would give me some clarity.
You can also purchase books on leadership and receive some great training from accomplished authors. John Maxwell is an author that I mention often and is considered a leadership teaching guru. If you’re trying to learn how to lead. His books are great resources about leadership.
In addition to being coached. For the leader who wants to improve their skills becoming a leadership coach can help them improve. Leadership is like a muscle, and they need to be worked out to be strong. In the past, I’ve helped friends and family improve their skills and abilities. It’s a great feeling when you see those skills put into action.
Here’s Help If You’re An Introverted Leader
People tend to think of introverts as solo people who hate talking to others, while that is the stereotype many introverts can become amazing leaders. These are the type that can lead leaders by sitting down and talking with them.
Many people hear the word leader and think of the person on stage in front of everyone encouraging them all to do something epic, and that’s only one kind of leader. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not extraverts.
Extraverts can connect with people easily one on one, and make them feel important. By doing this they’re helping the group move towards their mutual goal. When you figure out how you can lead, the world will open up to you.
Pro Tip: If you’re introverted, don’t let people think of you like the quirky person in the corner who hates everyone. You’ve got a lot to offer, make sure the world knows about it.
Extrovert Leaders Make Sure You Listen To Those Around You:
These are the leaders I alluded to above. They are loud, boisterous and usually know everyone in the group. These are the leaders who get up in front of everyone, encouraging the group and trying to drive everyone forward.
Keep in mind I’m speaking in stereotypes here, the groups can definitely co-mingle, and in reality, I’d prefer that. Anytime you have a team of people working together for a common goal, you need people to encourage you. whether it’s one on one, or in front of the crowd.
Encouragement is the fuel, that drives you towards a goal.
How To Lead Without Being In Charge?
So now I’m going to ask you a few questions.
- Why Do You Wanna Lead?
- What Type Of Leader Do You Envision Yourself To Be?
- Do You Have Any Skills Or Abilities That Might Help You Be That Person?
- What Weaknesses Could Stop You From Becoming That Person?
These are great questions to ask, because everyone wants to become a leader, because of the prestige. However many people who want to become one don’t understand the pain and heartache their current leader goes through.
Also, they sometimes don’t have the right heart set and they become a micro-manager, and nobody wants to deal with one of those.
When you’re honest with yourself, take the plunge and lead something small. Get a feel for it, let the people around you give advice, and focus on the goal.
Whenever I find myself in charge of something or seen as a leader, I try to remind myself of the team atmosphere that I try to create. Wherever I go, I build a team, and that team becomes a mini family.
In the past I’ve run valet, grocery, produce teams (just to name a few off the fun Ones off top of my head), and many more. However one thing stays the same, I let the people around me know my strengths and weaknesses. They in turn show me theirs and we learn to work by helping each other.
This is something you can do, regardless of how you lead. Connect with the team, even when you’re not in charge.
Leading by example is an important aspect of leadership. When you lead from the front it gives a sense of security to your team. They feel that you’re in the fight with them, and it resolves the manager/team issues you see in many places.
A good example of this comes from my job before college. I worked in a produce department as the Team Leader. My predecessor would come in after the work was done (around 7 AM). While his team showed up at 4 AM. Most of the work was done by the time he arrived.
So my first day I showed up at 4 AM, which of course shocked my crew. Then I asked where they needed me to start. I didn’t wanna ruin their morning routine, so I started doing the crap jobs that they didn’t wanna do. Yes, I was in charge, but I wanted to see how they operate, and how I could help them.
Eventually I had one of the best teams in the district working with me, and any of them could have done my job.
Why Do I Lead?
This is a question that you’ll ask from time to time. Usually when you’re frustrated, tired, or all of the above. For me, I’ve been in leadership positions my entire life. It’s second nature to me now, and I can’t stop it.
Ask yourself right now why do you lead? What are you expecting to get out of it?
If the answers only involve yourself, you might wanna examine that further. True leadership is serving the ones around you. that is where you’ll get the greatest efficiency and do the best work.
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