Leadership begins with you. We are all born leaders. It does not matter where you are or what kind of work you do, you are born a leader. Our lives are governed by the small things that we do everyday. “One of the responsibilities of leadership is to seek out and develop the latent talent of those members who, for various reasons, have never had a real chance to demonstrate their ability.” – Clem Renouf. I like to define leadership as the “ability to influence”. We all have the ability to influence. In you there is the ability to “influence” waiting to be awakened. Most people have not awakened their leadership abilities some may say they have never been given the opportunity to do so. I want to encourage those in this bracket to create the opportunities themselves. There is no better opportunity than that created by you. I have created this blog as an opportunity to help someone out there. I believe that this is a perfect opportunity and forum for me to show my leadership qualities and I am improving on them on a daily basis. I am neither a guru nor a perfect human being but I strive just like everybody else to become a better person everyday.
If you take the time to improve just 1% of your every day life say your work, imagine how much you would have improved after a single month. Improving our selves is the beginning of showing leadership qualities. There are many ways in which to improving our leadership qualities but I live by the following four principles:-
I have learnt that one of the most powerful tools to leadership ability is learning. Read and read and read. Read books that motivate, inspire and strengthen your character; books that remind you of our greatest leaders of the world. Some of my favorite books are the Holy Bible, the Master Key System by Charles Haanel, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen and The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles. Knowledge is paramount to whatever we do in our lives. The more knowledge you gain the more you increase the ability to something even better.
I have a target to read at least one new book along side one of my favorite books every month. But I read the Bible every single day. I want to encourage you to do even more by reading two books every month. I have written an article entitled “Knowledge is Key to Success” where I outline the importance of learning and acquiring knowledge. Learning never ends. Each day we are alive we are continuously learning new things. Apart from reading you can also learn by listening to audiobooks on various subjects such as team building, person motivation and relationships. Attend seminars on motivational topics, team building talks and many other subjects that will uplift you.
Make a point to have a continuous learning life. You will also realize that you are a student of your self. Some of you do not know yourself very well. Have an open mind and ken interest to learning new things. Do not resist change but embrace it. Many of the times we as human beings will always resist change. Explore the change being introduced for opportunities to express your leadership qualities. Usually change brings with it new and different opportunities explore them, don’t be content with what you have.
Perhaps at the centre of all human development is the state of the mind. Our outer achievements are a direct reflection of our inner achievements. What we think results in our action. If your thought is constructive the action is good, if your thought is destructive so are your actions. Everything that was created was first conceived in the mind before being given birth to the world. This also is true about you and me. Before you can be, you see yourself to be. You cannot be without seeing yourself to be.
To awaken the leadership quality in you, you must realize that all achievements begin in the mind. Your dominant thoughts have a direct bearing on your character. One common attribute of great leaders is that the spend most of their time thinking positively and remaining focused. We all have dreams and it is entirely up to each and every one of us to keep them alive and bring them into reality.
To be leader you must find time especially in the morning to visualize your self achieving your goals. Have time to yourself. Find the most appropriate time during the day when you can spend at least an hour to your self. Mine is usually early in the morning at about 5.00am. I would also encourage you to be an early riser. This gives me time to read meditate and exercise. I know that waking up earlier is not easy for some people. The start is always difficult but once you make it your way of life it becomes a part of your routine.
Setting and reconnecting on a regular basis with your targets is a good success discipline. Good leadership ability demands that you set goals that are achievable. I have one philosophy, set goals that are achievable but over deliver. Exceeding your goals gives you a sense of good feeling. You must try as much as possible to set yourself targets maybe on a yearly basis and broken down into smaller bits that will help you monitor your own progress.
Target setting is helpful in what ever area of your life. One must learn to set reasonable and achievable goals. Yes I know that sometimes we set goals that are difficult to achieve but we must try and reach them anyway. One of the best ways to monitor your goals is to write them down say in a dairy. Review your achievements on a regular basis and compare them with your main goals. Remember our lives and characters are made up of the small things that we do everyday. Try and improve on your weaknesses say by 1% everyday and see how much improvement you will have made in one month.
Leadership is influenced by what you eat. Staying healthy is also influenced by your diet and your way of living. One sure way of staying healthy is having a good diet and regular exercise. I try as much as possible to eat healthy and balanced diets. I must be very honest am not as disciplined as should be when it comes to diets but I exercise on a regular basis.
It is no point being a good leader and not in good health. We must try by all means to keep our bodies in good health and enjoy the days of our lives. If you have noticed “what you eat determines how well you will perform”. Avoid over eating and train your self to eat at the right time. Also eat in moderation. Staying healthy is key and beneficial to us all.
This is probably one of my longest articles so far. Leadership is very wide and difficult subject. What I believe is that we are all born leaders and it is the ability and wiliness to take up challenging roles that differentiate us. Many of us think being in high offices is leadership. I want to believe that we can all be leaders in whatever spheres of life we choose. In your quest for personal development always remember to “standout tall and be counted”