“The leader is not the one who leads, but the one whom they follow.”
This is an ideal situation for a person who is a leader: No need to call for anything, to persuade anyone — they themselves go where they need to. People feel the inner strength and confidence of the leader and themselves join the movement after this person because they hope that he or she will lead where they need to go, but know it will be much more difficult to walk there by themselves.
Are there many people who are voluntarily followed? In real life, people who can ignite and lead other people through only the power of their own charisma, without doing anything else, are extremely rare.
So what kind of person is it necessary to be for other people to recognize you as a leader and follow you? What you need to do? What do you need to change? What effort do you need to make? We have collected seven of the most efficient steps below.
7 Stages to Become a Leader
1. Start with the Formation of Correct Habits
Every week, work through one leadership habit. The way you start your working day, hold meetings, answer letters and calls, communicate with colleagues — all of this depends to some extent on your habits: both good ones and those you would like to get rid of.
In the book The Leader Habits, an expert in organizational psychology, Martin Lanik, offers an innovative approach to developing leadership skills. To form a habit, it is better to break up complex actions into a series of short fragments and train them in stages.
This is how learning to play a musical instrument occurs, this is how a child learns to walk. For example, you can gradually develop one of the following leadership habits:
- the habit of making the right choice of priorities
- the habit to keep the focus on customers
- the habit of innovating
- the habit to reasonably assess and manage risk
2. Determine What Personal Qualities Require Improvement and Refinement
First of all, let’s find out what qualities distinguish the leader from the crowd. To do this, it is enough to recall any person who inspires you with respect and desire to conform to him or her.
What qualities are peculiar to such people? We briefly list the main ones. So the leader:
- knows how to set goals and strives to achieve them — that is, he is purposeful;
- charges others with enthusiasm, encouraging them to action by his example;
- in extreme situations, he is always at the helm;
- the leader easily adapts to new conditions, is able to survive the setbacks and move on.
Therefore, in order to develop your best qualities, record and listen to the recognition of your strengths and weaknesses.
This process requires great courage. However, it is mandatory. Make an effort and first of all make a list of several friends or relatives who, as you know, really love you and sincerely wish to help you. Then ask them to write down ideas about why they care and sympathize with you, why they love you and vice versa. Ask them that the number of your advantages and disadvantages named by them be approximately equal (this is a prerequisite). After analyzing the results, start gradually upgrading each of your positive traits, as in the habituation example.
3. Establish Communication
Communication and the network of contacts created by means of it is what every leader should have. After all, people are the most valuable resource with which you can acquire knowledge about a wide range of topics. In addition, communication saves you from the complexes and fears that hinder the development of leadership qualities.
Remember what people tell you, listen to their moods and doubts, and do not forget to be interested in opinions from colleagues. Choose a day when you can call all your long-lost school and childhood friends or at least find them on social networks and find out how they live now. Such communication can lead to new twists and turns in your life.
4. Practice Positive Thinking
Many people strive to achieve success in their careers and in life, but is it possible with a pessimistic attitude? Will things get off the ground if a person is set up to defeat in advance? Positive thinking requires a positive attitude towards the world, to business and to oneself, a useful habit that can be acquired through hard training. Our thoughts shape our present and our future; both how we live now and how we will live tomorrow depends on whether our thoughts are positive or negative. Therefore, right now:
- Stop using negative words
- Give thanks for everything that seems important to you.
- Make peace with the past
- Talk in the present tense about your future accomplishments.
5. Develop Ambition
Since the desire for leadership eliminates passivity, your ability to make decisions in any kind of activity must constantly increase. Therefore, you need to use any opportunity to take responsibility and make a decision. If you want to be hired on the basis of competitive selection or have been applying for a management position for a long time, call immediately or contact the company management, take application forms from them and fill in your personal data, offer them your services.
Do not postpone the case for an indefinite period. It’s amazing how many people, having all the opportunities and talents for career growth, are unable to offer their services to an organization or a team. They do not have the strength to take the plunge.
6. Make Creativity Your Strong Skill
At times, it may seem that those who have succeeded in creative professions come from another world. Where do their ingenious ideas come from? There is nothing unusual in this, they see the same reality as everyone else, but at the same time, they see it in a completely different way.
The best gymnastics for the launch of creative thinking is the study of a foreign language. If you already know a foreign language, then take a second to learn. By studying a foreign language, you gradually begin to see the structure of your native language. This allows you to perceive events and objects as more multifaceted, from the perspective of another language. Such erudition in relation to “definitions and their connections” strongly contributes to the development of non-standard thinking.
7. Delegate Authority and Tasks
A good leader appreciates the team and understands that he alone cannot cope without the help of his subordinates. You need to be able to trust and distribute responsibilities.
With the right leadership, a team that understands its goals and has the means to achieve them will achieve results much faster than one, albeit the most effective, leader.
If you take on all the work for yourself, you will not only overload yourself but also slow down the overall process, because the employees are waiting for the completion of the tasks you have undertaken.
Feel free to use these tips and share them with your friends and colleagues!
Written by: Frank Hamilton
Frank Hamilton works as a translator at translation service TheWordPoint. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German, and English.