How to Be a Leader

There are leaders and there are followers, and a person is not necessarily born a leader.

To become a leader, the first step is to have good decision making skills - not something you are born with but rather taught at a young age. Your parents probably taught you the difference between right from wrong and that there are consequences for certain actions.

If you make mistakes, don’t pass the blame to others. If you make a mistake, admit it. Learn from it so you don’t commit the same mistake again.

Apart from making mistakes, good leaders should also be able to recognize their shortcomings. We all have some and the people we work with sometimes are too afraid, or polite to tell s what they are. If you want to know what your shortcomings may be, you have to allow your team members to speak freely so you can identify what you need to change.

Effective leaders speak well and if you lack that skill, it will be a good idea to take public speaking courses and practice speaking in front of the mirror or your friends. You can't really expect people to listen to you if you don’t have good communication skills.

Being a leader does not always mean talking and everyone doing what you say. Instead of just you thinking about what to do, listen to what people say. Your team members may have a great idea that you never thought about before.

Take it into consideration what they have to offer.

Leaders should be able, also, to take some risk in any decision they make. It should not be made on a whim but rather a calculated one that could be good for the organization. If this should fail though, you should be ready to face the consequences and take responsibility.

It will also be a good idea to assess what contributed to the failure so that if you want to try something like it again in the future, the outcome will be different.

A vital quality that any leader must have is trust. People look up to you so you have to show that whatever they say is kept in confidence. If you say you are going to do something, keep your word because this is your bond. Hopefully, people will admire these qualities and then try to do the same thing.

A leader is not born. He or she is made so that they can have a vision and then share this with whomever they are working with. Does the leader have the answers to everything? No - but if the person is able to inspire others, it can help them develop ideas that they can share.

Read more on improving conversation skills

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