THE FOUNDATIONS OF TRUE LEADERSHIP
There are many definitions of leadership, many failed attempts at leadership and many misconceptions of what it truly means to become a leader. Each person defines leadership differently, but every leader needs to respect the same fundamentals. The four aspects that we will discuss are what Ouss Zoglami uses to help my clients. In order to lead others, you need to first lead yourself and understand what it takes to be a true leader.
To be a great leader, you need to be extremely confident in yourself and you need to have a high level of awareness of yourself and others.
These are the four qualities of a true leader, the four building blocks that you need in order to build your leadership skills. When you possess these major aspects of leadership, you can later build other qualities and abilities on top of them. Here are the four keys:
Do you bring certainty into uncertain situations? True leaders do. You should also be certain of the core values of the company or institution you are working for. Accepting these values and confidently reinforcing them will help others respect you and follow your lead. Leadership is a personal skill first; Look at yourself and ask yourself, “What do I need to improve in order to become a better leader?” The better you become at working on yourself and becoming the leader of yourself, the more you will get others to follow you. How can you provide certainty when faced with stressful situations? Confidence when everyone else is doubting? Humour when everyone else is sad? A true leader is different. He or she knows when and how to shine, to support others and to lead depending on the situation. Leaders need to be certain of themselves and trust that others will follow their lead.
2. WILLINGNESS TO GROW
Accept that you are not perfect, that through your certainty you can make mistakes. You need to be comfortable with having others correct you, help you and give you feedback. A true leader takes other people’s remarks very seriously and is humble enough to apply them to themselves. The more you work on improving yourself, the more you will develop a more trusting, safe and growth-inducing environment around you. You will realize that you are more capable than you ever thought you were of achieving goals while getting others to trust you. Constantly growing is the best lesson one can learn from the best leaders in history. Being open to suggestions isn’t enough; developing a healthy lifestyle plays a big part in leadership. Do you read, work on your body language, and pay attention to the way you dress, your nutrition and who you spend time with? Leadership isn’t something you only bring with you to work; leadership is a daily skill and it starts at home.
3. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
This is a crucial element of true leadership. When you lead, you have to work with others. The difficulty lies in the fact that everyone working for or with you has a different story than yours. When a leader has high emotional intelligence, they can easily adapt to each person and get each person to follow the same system in harmony. That is not easy to do when you work with many people, and for many leaders, this is the hardest part. You need to learn to read, reassure and motivate your employees, family members and/or the organization you work for. The first rule is to know how to speak the language of those with different backgrounds and life experiences than yours. Each person has a language that speaks to them most, and a true leader gives a lot of importance to each person’s unique story without losing the vision of the whole group. The most important tools of a leader are transparency, true caring, empathy, love and willingness to show vulnerability. Open up to others and they will follow you in a heartbeat.
A leader does not do everything alone; they work with a team and use outside resources to get the job done. Nobody has all the resources, but everybody can become resourceful enough to obtain what they need. A true leader knows how to maximize the strengths of each employee and to push each person to become their best self This power of flexibility, openness and resourcefulness is the key to a leader’s success. To develop this skill, a leader needs to be optimistic, open-minded and willing to think outside the box. Resources like money, technology, skills and time may be missing, but a leader must be resourceful and creative enough to get whatever is needed. l. A resourceful leader will be more respected and loved by the whole group.