Are you growing yourself as a leader that others will want to follow or are you satisfied with simply being a follower?
What are your thoughts about leadership? You run a blog or some other business here online – are you sought after because you have been proven within your industry to have all the necessary and important qualities of a leader?
A leader without followers is thought to have persistent false beliefs regarding himself despite indisputable evidence to the contrary.
The reality is, being in a position of leadership is no easy walk in the park. To be a leader it take guts, courage and a strong character to lead and to do so from a place of humility while you press through the bands of resistance.
No doubt you will also find that the top is a lonely place to be. You will take action and make decisions that will not be popular with everyone.
Not everyone will agree with your point of views. Some may never acknowledge you as a leader and give you the support that you need.
Still you must rise to the challenge and pursue your dream and your calling as a leader.
Let’s direct our thoughts now to John C. Maxwell, a well-known philanthropist, coach and an iconic leader within the industry. According to him, he said:
“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower. ~ John C. Maxwell
What is the take away lesson from this nugget of wisdom? It seems fair to say that with all the power and authority that one may have, that person only become a great leader when he exercises his ability [no doubt, natural ability] to endow power, and to promote self-actualization and influence in another person’s life.
Stephen Covey rightly said, “Effective leadership is putting first things first.” The leader knows what’s important, he takes action and gives his attention to things in order of priority.
Characteristics of a Strong Leader
Do you really have what it takes to become a great leader? There are a number of qualities and characteristics that a leader must possess.
1. Unquestionably excellent character
Ask yourself whether or not your thoughts, feelings and your actions are always on par with each other. Do you behave in public the same way you behave behind closed doors when you are no longer in public view? Do you always keep your word and meet deadlines when you say you will?
As believers, think about how you deal with the circumstances of life when the going gets tough. Can you still praise God in the valley the same way you would when you are on the mountain top? The way you handle problems and situations say a lot about your character.
2. Charismatic and solve problems
Anyone who is gearing towards becoming a noble leader, must quit the talking and begin to take action. You have a great template for your blog. You have an excellent theme, yes. But ask yourself what problems you are helping others to solve. Do you appeal to others, and are people drawn to you naturally?
To be considered a great leader you do not work alone. You work with others towards a common cause. Let this not come as a surprise to you, but to be the kind of person who attracts others and so gain followers, you begin to value others and expect the best of them. Help them to understand that they matter.
Pretty soon you will find the redounding benefit of such action will result in others thinking better of themselves while simultaneously you begin to feel better about yourself too.
3. Value people
In order to be an effective leader, you cannot be selfish. Selfish people are arrogant and prideful which are self-limiting and self-defeating to them. Genuine leaders value others and seek ways to develop the ones that they lead.
Think about what you are doing and saying and if nine times out of ten, your conversation or your action is focused on yourself, then a helpful solution is to shift the focus in favor of concentrating on others more. You definitely want to make people know they are valued and that they matter.
4. Strong sense of commitment
How much do you believe in the vision or the cause? People believe in you and the cause you have been charged to lead only when they see that you really believe in it yourself.
What does leadership look like in blogosphere? How do you and I fit in? Ask yourself how committed are you to writing and posting quality content for your readers and followers. Do you post when you feel like or do you have a schedule? Do you respond to comments or you leave them orphaned on your blog post? People will not follow you if they realize that you are not committed.
“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” ~ John C. Maxwell
5. Good communication skills
A lot of your success in life, especially as a leader is linked to your ability to communicate effectively and to connect with other people. Whether it is in your marriage, on the job with co-workers and employees, business and personal relationships your message has to be concise, specific and simple with a focus on others.
What is the message you are trying to get across? Are you just giving people a lot of information? John C. Maxwell alluded to this in his book entitled, “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader” in which he mentioned that if you are just dumping a bunch of information on people, you are not communicating.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” ~ Proverbs 29:18
He suggested that every time we speak to people, it is our responsibility to give them something to feel, something to remember and something to do. This is highly suggestive that communication must also be followed with an action step.
Infographic – John C. Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership
In this infographic, John C. Maxwell talks about the five levels of leadership. It shows that even if you are at the lowest level, you are not precluded from moving up the next levels of leadership. You have the opportunity and can pursue it if that is your intention to move up the rank.
7 Best Quotes on Growing Yourself as a Leader
1.) ” The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” ~ Max DePree
2.) “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” ~ Jack Welch
3.) “Become the kind of leader that people will follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.” ~ Brian Tracy
4.) “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” ~ Peter Drucker
5.) “The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” ~ Reverend Theodore Hesburgh
6.) “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” ~ Jim Rohn
7.) “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” ~ Douglas McArthur
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My Final Thoughts
In talking it over, I want to emphasize that the characteristics, the traits, principles, tips and strategies of a leader and leadership outlined here goes far beyond what could have been included in this column. This is inclusive of leadership in every sphere in life and not just in the corporate world. So even if you are a parent, a blogger, a businessman or whatever other position you may hold, this post applies.
Your turn, talk it over
Did this post resonate with you? If yes, how? What is your take away from it? How many of the characteristics have you identified in leaders you know so far? What other characteristic traits of a leader would you add to this list? Please share this post and record your thoughts in the comment form below. Thanks in advance!