How To Grow Yourself As a Leader Others Want to Follow

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.

stephen covey quote

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

You must be committed if you want to be effective. To have a strong sense of commitment means you must be leading from within – you must have a strong conviction and be leading from your heart.

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.

five levels of leadership


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

READ ALSO: 9 Powerful, But Simple Ways To Be A Success Without Spending a Dime


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!

About Yvonne I. Wilson (793 Articles)
Yvonne I. Wilson is known for her prolific, dynamic leadership style with over twenty years in the healthcare industry. She is a trailblazer and a catalyst for change; a positive thinker and someone who is very passionate and optimistic about life. She is mantled as an end-time Apostolic Prophet with an extraordinary spirit of discernment, an exceptionally strong prophetic and healing anointing and a unique gift in prophetic intercessory prayer as she navigates through the realm of the spirit and as she ministers to the nations. With the Agape love of God and His undeniable purpose for which He has called her, God has given her a Prophetic Deliverance Ministry to bring deliverance to His people, to heal the wounded, rejected and emotionally scarred/broken in spirit, to break barriers, old paradigms and false teachings and to rebuild, establish and plant the things of God.

38 Comments on How To Grow Yourself As a Leader Others Want to Follow

  1. Hi Yvonne!

    I just found this post and I love it. I know it is an older post but it is just such a strong one 🙂

    I love how you build the character of a leader. Great leaders are truly not selfish but give it all for the people they are leading. Just like your quote about a leader without followers … and that he sees himself totally wrong.

    • Hi llka,

      Truth is, some posts will not grow old simply because of the topic and the relevance in today’s society or in the work environment.

      A leader’s true character will stand out and shine when he or she give it all for the people, when they walk in humility and does things in the interest of others to help them to grow and develop.

      The tendency for a leader to loose followers begin once that person become lifted up with pride.

      Thanks for commenting. Have a great weekend.

  2. Hi Yvonne ,

    Great post!!! It will surely benefit me and others…Thanks for sharing this valuable information..

    • Hi Hanif0,

      Great to have you visit my blog and for sharing your thoughts with us. Glad you found the information valuable and I am looking forward to see you again. Your participation was much appreciated. Have a blessed day.

  3. Hi Yvonne ,
    Great post i seen in this week . actually i love to read these type of post online or through books. and this is my first visit on your blog. it”s really a lovely place to read awesome posts for your life style and motivations.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Siddharth

      It is a pleasure having you here for the first time on my blog. I welcome you. I am glad that you enjoyed reading the post and was motivated and inspired by it. I trust that you will stop by again. Do have an enjoyable Christmas and blessings for the upcoming New Year.

  4. Hi Yvonne,

    Another wonderful post here on your blog.

    Becoming a leader is definitely not an easy job as it look to be. You really require many qualities to become a leader in the real sense. Commitment is the utmost skill that I think you require to become a leader.

    You should know what you’re supposed to do and how to get your work done from others as well for rapid growth.

    I love the way you used image as well as text quotes within the article. They simply add flavor to the article and makes it an interesting read.

    Good job. Have a wonderful day ahead.

    ~ Gurwinder Singh Bhinder

    • Hi Gurwinder

      Great to have you back and I am so glad you found this post helpful in growing yourself as a leader.

      Developing leadership skills take time. It will also be helpful to have someone to mentor us and encourage us along the way. We are stronger and better at what we do when we have that kind of support.

      Have a blessed day and a successful week.

  5. Rohan Chaubey // October 20, 2014 at 5:44 am //

    Hey Yvonne,

    This is my first visit to your blog. I am so glad that I found this post on Aha!Now. This is what I was searching for. Actually I have been reading a book on Leadership by Dale Carnegie. And this blog was just complementary to that book. Very well written. I loved the quotes and they are so inspiring and beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Have a nice day!

    Rohan Chaubey.

    • Hi Rohan

      I am happy for this opportunity to welcome you to my blog. I am delighted that you made the choice to stop by and share your thoughts. I am encouraged by your kind words and excited to know of your keen interest in leadership and that you are reading a book at the moment on the subject.

      We are thankful for the shoulders of these great men such as Dale Carnegie, John Maxwell, Stephen Covey and the others and also for their footprints in the sand that we can follow. Quotes are very inspirational and motivational – I am happy that you were inspired by the selection.

      Thanks and look forward to having you come back to check out more posts on EMB. I will be stopping by your blog as well. Have a great day/week ahead. 🙂

  6. Hi Yvonne,

    Sorry for coming in late – just been so overwhelmed with a lot of things, though glad I made it finally, and good to see the ABC in full force here too 🙂

    Coming to the post – that was such a powerful post 🙂

    I loved ALL the image quotes…you know how much they relate to me, don’t you? Stephen said it right – that leaders know what are the important actions to take and they work on those on priority.

    Just like Maxwell says – great leaders don’t just know and go the way, they also show the way – they guide and help people become leaders too.

    Every leader needs to remember that he or she was once a follower, and that one thought keeps him or her grounded I feel. You always rise by lifting others, that’s just one little thing I know of 🙂

    Often times we come across leaders who are arrogant and have a lot of ego and pride. They won’t help, nor would they be ready to come down to your level to make you understand or uplift you. You are right, the real leaders value others and help them evolve as better humans. They are the real givers and never fail to hold back things from others.

    As a leader you need to be committed to your readers, and require proper communication skills as that helps you build better relationships with them. That is how you can relate and connect with people.

    I would say – As leaders – be humble, be giving, be caring, be bold, be decisive, be daring, be consistent, be a person of action not just words – and just be there for people, helping and guiding them to become better each day.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • Hi Harleena,

      I understand your schedule is very tight but know that you are never late. You are on time and I am delighted as always to have you. You have become such an integral part of the EMB community and I wish to recognize you for your sterling contributions.

      On another note, you realize that you have set the bar and the standard on quality content very high, right? – you are making me work too hard, LOL 🙂 to reach it! 🙂

      I am humbled by the support the ABC / Ahaians are giving to EMB these past weeks. It is evidence of yourself as a strong and powerful leader within the industry and it is also reflective of your spirit of humility, giving, caring, kindness and your desire to help others to grow and develop to their maximum potential.

      I have seen all these leadership qualities and characteristics in you and encourage you to continue to pursue the path of leadership and continue to be everything that a leader should be as you summed it up in your comment. I see greater things on the horizon in store. Have a fantastic week. 🙂

  7. Hi Yvonne,
    I totally agree with the ideas in your post! I particularly like the idea that leaders need to quit the talking and take action. It is this ability to take concrete and directional action regardless of the situation that distinguishes a leader.

    I love Maxwell’s quotes that leaders near to empower. Often this point is missed and a leader is seen with fear and hesitation. But If a leader is unable to spark the enthusiasm and passion in their followers, they are not doing a great job leading. Many people in high positions lead with ego and become unapproachable. In such a situation, great ideas are not promoted. If one is afraid of losing one’s job or being marked as asking too many questions or being too independent, no one will come forward with great solutions.

    When a leader values their people as you suggest in #3, it really makes working for them a great pleasure. Great leaders can see the best qualities in a person and have the uncanny intuition or ability to direct them towards the higher good of the organization.

    Thank you for a wonderful post!


    • Hi Harish,

      It is such a pleasure to have you back and for blessing us with your wisdom through this wonderful comment. You have mentioned some key words that popped right out especially “enthusiasm and passion.” The dynamics of both are essential to great leadership, the effects of which will be felt in his/her followers which results in the highest level of output.

      A leader must possess great strength and stamina, not so much in the physical sense but more as it relates to him being able to make tough choices and lead in the right direction even when under mounts of pressure. He must have the focus required to be effective.

      He must be willing to engage his followers in dialogue and be a good listener at the same time. It is a combination of all these things that makes working for such a person pleasurable. The overall results are priceless.

      Thanks again for your value added contribution. Have a great week ahead with much fruit bearing. 🙂

  8. Hi Yvonne

    A few basic qualities of leadership can’t be acquired but most of others can be developed with a little practice and learning. In this sense your post is very informative for those who want to become a leader in their field.

    Leader is an ideal of his followers so his character must be stronger and someone can’t distract him from his course of action.

    If a person is weaker in his resolve he can become anything but a leader. So one needs to have unwavering commitment to influence his followers keep going after him without any doubt.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this very insightful post of huge value.

    • Hi Mi Muba

      It’s a pleasure having you here once again. Welcome back and thank you for your wonderful feedback. You have raised a very good point in saying a few of the basic qualities of leadership can’t be acquired but most others can be developed with a little practice and learning. Such then, the focus must be towards developing the leader in us in our field or area of expertise.

      A Leader cannot afford to be weak and must be unwavering in his commitment. He must also stand out from the rest – and this is where integrity and character will play a huge part.

      Have a blessed week!

  9. ferdiklint // October 19, 2014 at 2:00 am //

    Hello Madam Yvonne,

    I love the way this article was compiled – using quotes to teach the concept of leadership.

    Being a good leader is not as easy as it may seem to be, it comprises of many factors which you have already mentioned here. Many are always eager to lead but fail to keep in mind the do’s and dont’s for every leader.Every leader should value his or her followers.
    I believe in one statement which my teacher has always used to describe a leader – ‘A leader must be ready to serve and not to be served’

    This is an informative article, i will just share this right away on my Social Media account and bookmark this page for reference purposes.

    Thanks for sharing this with us, i appreciate your good work.

    • Hi ferdiklint,

      Glad to have you back. With this kind of feedback, I could not agree with you more. You teacher was spot on! I have observed that too many leaders want to be served rather than to serve others. But those who live and feel that way, usually rise to the top quickly and fall to the bottom just as quickly because it doesn’t take someone long to figure that out about him/her. Servant-hood must be encouraged by all means and leaders must seek to place value upon every follower.

      Thank you for being such an integral part of the EMB community. Blessings and have a great week ahead. 🙂

  10. Hi Yvonne

    I love the way you highlight the factors that make one a leader. I like the point where you state that a leader takes action and must not be selfish but must think about the people that is working with him.

    Leadership is a wishful thinking but It’s all about responsibility and integrity. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Ikechi

      I gladly welcome your feedback and I’m happy that you were able to gain further insight into this subject matter. Having a leader who is selfish would be counter productive and damaging for sure not only to those that he lead but he himself. Blessings! 🙂

  11. Hi Yvonne,

    You’re touching upon one of my all-time favorite subjects. Leadership touches every area of our lives rather someone realizes or not.

    When I was in college we studied all Maxwell’s books in the late 90’s. I had been out of the Navy for a while ad was headed back into the Army as a Chaplain where leadership was something that was lived and not talked always talked about. I had the unique privilege of helping write the Army’s Leadership Field Training Manual for our unit and it was a lot of fun.

    The one thing I’ve learned about leadership over the years is there are a lot of people that display leadership tendencies and have a following, but never fully realize their leadership potential. Likewise, I’ve witnessed people who had no leadership background rise to the top. The one common theme I noticed was how fast they failed in their leadership.

    The reason is that leaders are not born, they are made. Great leaders have been mentored by other great leaders and they are taught how to lead.

    Look at any successful CEO, military leader, small business owner… they all had incredible mentors who taught them what it is to lead and how to endure through the challenges.

    Leadership is never really learned or realized when times are good or easy. It is only when tested through adversity does leadership really come out. That’s why character and integrity is so important because that’s when your truly colors show.

    I really enjoyed your post Yvonne. I can’t wait to come back each week to read more of your content.

    I hope you have an awesome weekend!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Hi Don

      Ah, first I give you a red carpet welcome to my neck of the woods here. It’s a pleasure to have you, realizing of course you took the time from your busy schedule to do so.

      Like I am sure many other readers will, I am excited to hear about your experience and to understand why the subject of leadership is touching to you. It is honorary on your part that you had the distinct privilege of writing the Army’s Leadership Field Training Manual for your Army unit.

      I have read only a few of John Maxwell’s books but I am currently subscribed to A Minute With John Maxwell and really enjoy listening to him through those daily video messages. They are very inspiring and really help to motivate and encourage growth in each individual listener.

      Like you, I have made similar observations that there are many who have huge following who never realize their full potential as a leader. I am sure there must be a reason for that. Presumably it is because they never really took the time or effort to invest in themselves and/or hang around those who will mentor them and help to cultivate the gifts and talents inside of them.

      On the other hand those with no leadership background who rose to the top quickly and then fell from grace is for the reason you stated. Leaders are not born, they are made. The true test of their ability comes when trouble, hardship and challenging times come their way. Will that individual stand the test, or will s/he go into a silent retreat? I think that person should stand the test, thus allow character and integrity to shine forth.

      Great discussion Don! Thanks for engaging and look forward to having you back. Have a blessed day/weekend. 🙂

  12. Hi Yvonne,
    Probably no person would like to be a follower, I believe being a leader is something every person desires though it might not be their priorities, but yet none of them would like being a follower forever.

    There are characters which one must possess to be qualified as a leader, and here, you just made it known.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Larry

      So good to see you here. Thanks for your thoughtfulness for taking the time to stop by, read the post and to contribute to the discussion. I appreciate your feedback.

      You know you are so right that no person would like to be a follower and if/when they do they would not like being a follower forever. However I remember this saying that in order to be a good leader, one must first learn to be a good follower.

      When I look around today I believe one of the areas in which leaders fall short is because they rise to the top as a leader forgetting that they were the ones giving trouble when they were following by not submitting themselves to the leader/ship they were under.

      Have a great day/weekend. Blessings and more power to you in your future endeavors. 🙂

  13. bloggingtechniques93 // October 18, 2014 at 10:34 am //

    Hey Yvonne,

    I just have found your blog through Einstein Mukki blog. Where you’d left your comment.

    This post is such an awesome stuff from your site. This article inspire me to don’t quit. DO my best to grow my self as a leader.
    Thank You for sharing motivating post. Also, You can visit my blog for more engagement. I’ll gonna visit your blog to find more inspiring stuff.

  14. Hey Yvonne,

    I just have found your blog through Einstein Mukki blog. Where you’d left your comment.

    This post is such an awesome stuff from your site. This article inspire me to don’t quit. DO my best to grow my self as a leader.
    Thank You for sharing motivating post. Also, You can visit my blog for more engagement. I’ll gonna visit your blog to find more inspiring stuff.

    • Hi Mustafa

      I warmly welcome you to my blog and wish to thank you for taking the time to read the post and give such a meaningful feedback. I am glad that you were inspired and encouraged also not to give up on your dream of becoming a great leader. You have potential and whatever you do in life, continue to cultivate your gifts and talents to grow yourself as a leader.

      Have a great day/weekend! 🙂

  15. Yvonne thank you for this wonderful post. What attracts me to good leaders are how they respond under pressure and their comunication skills with their followers. Good leaders don’t crumble under presure and are secure in themselves and their mission. Open-minded is another attribute they have. Listening more than they speak, good leaders become willing to take suggestions from their followers.

    • Hi Vernon

      These are some excellent points you have made which I am glad you brought to the forum. How leaders respond under pressure from without [knowing they also face their own internal pressure] is relevant. It happens mostly in the corporate/business world and in positions of leadership in government and having to run a country.

      Presidents, CEO’s, Prime Ministers especially have their full share. It is very admirable how some of them are able to carry the grace and remain in a sound and stable mind even with us having the public knowledge of what they are going through. It calls for a great amount of courage as well.

      In addition to being open minded they need to have a spirit of discernment and intuition and to be able to discover the root of the matter/problem.

      Thank you for your value added contribution. Have a blessed weekend! 🙂

  16. Hi Yvonne,

    We all know that people like to be the leader to guide someone else but do they really have capability? I mean to become a leader people need to have the best communication skills. They should know about latest trends to guide others.

    I like the way you have summed up with some famous quotes related to leadership.
    People need to get motivated and these quotes may do that for them.

    Thanks for writing this article.

    Hope you are having fun this weekend.:)


    • Hi Ravi

      I appreciate you taking the time to read the post, share it and to give this wonderful feedback on it. Good communication skills is a key thing for me – it is getting the idea and thoughts across to people in a way that they understand clearly our point of view. Sometimes a person can have a brilliant idea but never get anywhere with it because of failure in transmitting or communicating it to others. Thanks again and have a great day. 🙂

  17. Minister Yvonne, indeed….. leadership is not a walk in the park. Before anyone can be a leader such a one must be able to lead oneself on a clear path whether it is spiritual, business, social, relationship or in any other way. For someone to follow you, you must be first going somewhere. I like when it was mentioned that one must lead from within (the heart.) When it flows from the heart it will be felt. I also like the point of effective communication. This kind of communication speaks directly to the heart of the follower. Great post.

    • Hi Pastor Ava, as always I am honored by your presence and your input. You bring value each time. When we lead from the heart, there is no time for reasoning and guessing. You will know when it it the right thing to do, because you will feel it for sure.

      People will catch the vision we share and be able to “run” with it when we make it plain and simple. They will not follow either if they do not know where we are going or what we want.

      Have a great weekend. 🙂 Blessings!

  18. Like your post Yvonne. Really like the quotes and two special things for me in a leader are influence and empathy. Influence opens doors, empowers and builds people for their own good when used positively. Empathy keeps you grounded and connected with people of all levels. Also a great sense of humour. They make hard work more enjoyable lol!

    • Hi Aquene,
      Welcome aboard and thank you for leaving such an awesome feedback that has added substantial value to the post. I just LOVE the way you elaborated on influence and empathy. Apart from being influential, the leader must know how to empathize with others – it’s about putting him/herself in the place of the other person. Isn’t that what help to keep us humble?

      Speaking of a great sense of humor, I often tell my colleagues the time they spend complaining, why not let’s just find laughter in all of the things that we are faced with each day.
      Thank you and continue to be a blessing. 🙂

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