Here is the thing: it certainly takes practice and continuous growth to be a great leader – as it does to be great at anything.
But despite the fears and insecurities that you may have, you’re already a leader, or at least you already have leadership capabilities and let me show you why.
Do you ever feel like you were born to make a difference? Like something is pulling you to fulfill your destiny? To continue to grow and accomplish something extraordinary with your life? But you feel scared that you won’t be able to do it, that you don’t have what it takes?
Or may be you think that you have no idea what your purpose and mission in life is and you wonder how to find that out? I certainly had times when I felt that way in my life and I understand how it feels.
There Can’t Be Only One Path To Leadership
Similarly to success, there can’t be only one path to leadership. As unique as individuals are, so it is with their capability and way of leading, as well as what they lead and where they do it.
Some examples: a parent is the leader of a family, an highly successful athlete is a leader of its field and a CEO is the leader of a company.
If you’ve ever try to get people to do something, by inspiring them or by motivating them to accomplish something, then that is the way you’re leading. You’ve used your leadership capabilities to get them to do what needed to be done.
“I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.” – Queen Elizabeth II
Let us illustrate this with some further examples:
Example 1: You lead yourself to get to where you are right now in your life. Think about your accomplishments so far.
Example 2: You convinced your friends to choose movie A instead of movie B or you convinced your child to wear her jacket when she wanted to go out without it.
Example 3: You encouraged your team to give their best for the last milestones despite the tiredness.
Example 4: You inspired the people who work for your company to be engaged and identify with the company mission.
The methods you used can be considered your leadership style.
Now, let just explore the reasons why you’re already a leader.
Your Strengths and Priorities define Your Leadership
You have unique strengths and priorities that define your leadership. Also, your life experiences, just like your fingerprints, make you unique. No matter what your conditions and circumstances are, they influence the way you interact with people and thus the way you lead.
Honor those areas of your life where
- you have clarity
- you already have lots of knowledge,
- you demonstrate strengths,
- you’re disciplined,
- you intuitively know what to do and
- you love to talk about it
- they are intuitively your priorities,
- you highly value them
Follow that inner message that comes from within you. Apply daily actions to fulfill it, because where you naturally have the properties listed above, that is your purpose and your area of leadership.
In the area of your strengths and priorities, you demonstrate great leadership abilities already, without even being aware of it, because it is so natural to you.
You are already a leader in the area of your strengths and priorities, you have a vision and you have clarity on what to do to bring it to life.
So ask Yourself:
- What are my priorities in life?
- Where do I already have great skills and knowledge?
- In which area of my life do I already have concrete tangible results that are considered above average?
- What do I absolutely love to do?
You can also ask people close to you to tell you what you 3 top qualities or strengths are. Start with what is obvious to you and build from there.
Just because you are strong in a particular area doesn’t mean that the challenges evaporate or doesn’t exist.
Instead it means that you are ready to take the challenges and you have the tools and the skills to address them. And this is what gives you the confidence.
Life and leadership is not about the absence of problems or challenges, it’s about embracing the support and also the challenges that come along equally.
Most of the time you don’t think that you’re a leader because in the area of your strengths, it comes so naturally to you, so you don’t even value it.
Embrace your unique combination of strengths and priorities because they are your gift, they define your leadership.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others – Be The Leader You Are
Embrace and show who you really are. Problems arise when you compare yourself to others:
- either you want what they have and don’t honor what you have. You then feel insecure or even jealous
- or you minimize what they have and don’t honor them. You want to impose what you have on them, you feel proud, arrogant or cocky.
Do not try to imitate or to copy someone else.
Honor what you have and who you are, while you also honor what others have and are.
The insecurities come when you try to be someone you’re not. They come when you want to pretend that you have the strengths that others display as your own, because you think it’s cooler or more socially accepted.
You won’t have room for insecurities if you focus on being fully present in your interactions with others.
Instead of obsessing about what others might be thinking about you, think of way of how you can assist others and be of service.
Fear has been defined as False Evidence Appearing Real.
In terms of dealing with fear, recognize that it is an illusion that comes from believing that something in your future is going to be “bad”. That it is going to bring you more negatives than positives.
When you start feeling the fear, take a deep breath and return to the present moment. In the present moment, the benefits and the drawbacks are all in perfect balanced, so all is well.
If you don’t value others and minimize them or their ideas, because you think that you’re better than them as their leader, you will probably attract criticism and rebellion from the people you lead or the people around you.
This will bring your exaggerated arrogance into balance and help you be authentic again. Value yourself and value others this is how others will value you as well.
Be your authentic self, while you allow others to be authentic as well.
If you don’t honor your authentic self and trust your inner guidance, you’ll need to rely on someone else’s authority.
Someone else will tell you how to behave, what to do, what to believe and to think, what to wear, what to eat, how to parent, how to run your business, what being beautiful is, what being spiritual is, how to love, how to live life.
When you show your authentic self and your unique gifts to the world, and you value others without subordinating to them, people are in awe and can’t take their eyes off of you.
You are therefore perceived as a leader.
Your Perceived Weaknesses and Voids Serve Your Leadership
We started by talking about how your strengths and your priorities define your leadership.
Now it’s time to make room for our weaknesses as well.
What we perceived as missing, our weaknesses and even what some call our dark side or our negative side all serve us and thus they serve our leadership.
When you honor and trust your unique gifts, as well as your perceived weaknesses you can then translate your knowledge in other areas of life.
Let’s consider a mother who regularly and successfully resolves conflict between her 3 children at home. She also work as a team manager.
Sometimes she catch herself thinking that may be she would have been a better team manager if she didn’t have children, like some of her female colleagues.
But by embracing and honoring her motherhood in her team manager role, she may use the insight and the experience gained with conflict resolution with her children for example to elaborate methods that can help her in that area at work.
Next time she needs to solve conflicts that arises between team members in her team manager job at the office.
You see, we already have in us everything, the good traits and the bad traits. All those traits are actually neutral until we judge them with our perceptions. When we judge, we create imbalance.
When we judge, we are in imbalance we percieve that something is missing because we’re comparing ourselves to others and we go after that.
Pride and shame will raise or lower our self esteem respectively. But by embracing all sides of ourselves and of others, we’re loving ourselves and others, which is the true love that really embraces everything.
Embrace your life as it is. If you compare your reality with something unreal, something you wish were happening, you get in imbalance, you get depressed, frustrated, confused or angry.
Embrace all sides of You – It serves You as a Leader
Master The Area of Your Leadership Even Deeper
To make a difference, know your strengths and priorities and embrace your perceived voids and weaknesses as well. Then commit to continuously learn more and more to master your life on an even deeper level. This will definitely be beneficial to your leadership.
Start with what you know and from there you can expand in other aspects of your life.
What you focus on grows. Focus on your strengths and priorities while embracing your perceived voids and continuously refine and expand yourself and you’ll be a master, loving what you do and doing what you love, and revealing your authentic self that way.
You see, many people do exactly the contrary, when they feel intuitively strong in one area, they stop learning in that area. Or they minimize that area, thinking that it’s not valuable enough.
Instead they focus all their efforts on their weaknesses, on what is difficult to them, on what is not working, and they end up beating themselves up because they’re not where they want to be… what a waste of talent.
How about doing this: have a basic strengths level in all areas of life. At the same time strive to be outstandingly excellent in the area of your gift, of your special intuitive strengths and talents. And in the process, delegate whenever possible and apply persistence and consistency.
I’m personally all about empowering all areas of life. And I believe You can have it all, one baby step at the time, focusing on progress.
I also believe that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Gladly ask and receive help on your journey and learn the art of delegating to the people who are best in that task you’re delegating.
“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” – Andrew Carnegie
So get knowledge and skills in all areas of life that inspire you, delegate what doesn’t inspire you at this moment, and re-evaluate and re-adjust regularly.
Get even more knowledge and skills in the areas of your strengths and priorities in order to be outstanding in those areas.
Leaders are outstanding.
Honor and master your unique strengths and priorities.
You are already unique, you are outstanding, you are a leader.