What does it take to be a successful leader? Is it innate talent or something that can be learned? In this blog post, we will explore the answer to that question and give tips on unlocking the leader in you. We all have leadership potential – it just takes a bit of work to bring it out. With some dedication and effort, you can become the successful leader you always wanted to be!
Understand your personal leadership style
Leadership is not a one size fits all proposition. The style that works for one person might not be the right fit for another. To be an effective leader, one must understand your own leadership style.
- Are you the leader who prefers to take charge and give orders, or do you prefer to empower others and create a shared vision?
- Do you like to operate in a structured environment with clear rules and expectations, or do you prefer to give people more freedom and flexibility?
What are the different leadership styles?
The following are some of the most common leadership styles:
- Authoritarian: This style of Leadership is all about control. Leaders who adopt this style make decisions independently and expect others to follow their lead.
Authoritarian leaders from history include Benito Mussolini, Bill Gates, Kim Jong-un, Larry Ellison, Lorne Michaels, Richard Nixon, and Vladimir Putin. (Western Governors University, 2020)
- Laissez-faire: This style takes a hands-off approach. Leaders who adopt this style allow their team members to take the initiative and make decisions.
Queen Victoria, Warren Buffett, and Steve Jobs are three famous leaders in history who have used this leadership style. (Western Governors University, 2020)
- Participative: This style of Leadership encourages input from team members. Leaders who adopt this style involve their team in decision-making and seek input before making decisions.
Famous participative leaders of the country include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Jimmy Carter. ("What Is Democratic/Participative Leadership?" 2014)
- Transformational: This style of Leadership focuses on bringing about change. Leaders who adopt this style inspire and motivate their teams to achieve results. (Western Governors University, 2020)
Some famous transformational leaders are Jeff Bezos and Barack Obama.
Why do you need to know your leadership style?
Knowing your leadership style can help you adapt your approach to fit the needs of your team. It can also help you identify areas where you need to grow and develop. Ultimately, understanding your personal leadership style is an essential step in becoming an effective leader.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
As a leader, you must be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness will allow you to make the most of your strengths and work to improve your weaknesses.
Some of my leadership strengths include my ability to inspire others, my strong communications skills, and my dedication to my team. I am also very good at problem-solving and making decisions quickly.
However, I do have some weaknesses that I am always working to improve. For example, I tend to have a lot of ideas as I am more of a visionary than an integrator. Therefore, I am always working on being more patient and taking the time to listen to others before making decisions.
Overall, I believe my strengths far outweigh my weaknesses as a leader. By continuing to develop my skills and grow as a person, I am confident that I will become an even more effective leader.
But how can you identify your strengths and weaknesses?
One way is to ask your friends, family, or colleagues for feedback. Another way is to take personality tests or leadership assessments. Once you have identified your strengths and weaknesses, you can start working on becoming a more well-rounded leader.
Set goals for yourself
A goal is a desired result that a person or group envisions, plans, and commits to achieve. As a leader, it is essential to set goals for yourself. Doing so helps to provide direction, focus, and a sense of accomplishment when the goals are reached. When setting goals, it is important to ensure they are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
In addition, it is also important to involve the team in goal setting, as this helps to ensure buy-in and commitment. Furthermore, the team can become more cohesive and motivated by working together towards common goals. Finally, goal setting is a critical leadership instrument that will assist you in achieving your objectives.
What if you failed to set personal goals?
It is never too late to start! If you have not been setting goals for yourself, it is important to start doing so as soon as possible. Goal setting will help unlock the leader in you and enable you to succeed.
Seek out constructive feedback
If you want to be a successful leader, you can't be afraid of feedback - even when it's not flattering. As Bill Gates said, "We all need people who will give us feedback. That's how we improve."
In fact, some of the best leaders actively seek out constructive feedback to improve their performance. After all, Leadership is all about constantly striving to improve and motivate those under your care. And what better way to find out how you're doing than by asking for honest feedback from those you lead? Of course, it can be difficult to hear criticism, but remember that feedback is only meant to help you grow as a leader. So don't be afraid to seek it out - it could be the key to taking your leadership skills to the next level.
Be open to change
One of the most important aspects of being a successful leader is adapting to different situations. No two leadership challenges are identical, so you must be flexible enough to change your approach as needed. Whether trying a new strategy or simply modifying your existing methods, being open to change will show those under your care that you're willing to do whatever it takes to achieve success.
More importantly, always be learning. The best leaders are lifelong learners who constantly seek ways to improve their skills. By continuously learning and growing, you'll not only become a better leader, but you'll also inspire those around you to do the same.
Ideas are beneficial, but if they remain as ideas, they won't be helpful to you. Therefore, taking action and putting your ideas into motion is essential. Even if it's something as small as starting a conversation or conducting research, taking action is the only way to unlock your true leadership potential.
How do you take action?
The best way to take action is by doing. Start small and work your way up. Remember, Leadership isn't about perfection; it's about progress. And the only way to make progress is by taking action.