The word “leader” comes with many connotations. When you think of a leader, you think about presidents, generals, the biggest and best of people. This is very intimidating for someone who is looking to develop themselves as a leader. You might think about running a small business, but you haven’t got the courage to go to the bank for a loan yet, or you are unhappy in your current career and are looking for a sense of purpose. Whatever your reasons for wanting to be a leader, turning yourself into one can feel like a seismic challenge. But the trick is not about making a massive change overnight, it’s about making small steps in the right direction. How can you do this?
Develop The Specific Skills
No doubt you’ve heard so many times that to be a great leader, you have to listen. When it comes to developing skills as a leader, the best way to do it is to start leading! Sure, throwing yourself in at the deep end can leave you feeling stressed, and doubting yourself whether you can do this or not. But when it comes to understanding what skills you need to develop, it has to be done by doing the job. There are essential skills that every leader needs on the surface, from listening to mediating and understanding the importance of grace under pressure, but you aren’t going to know what you are capable of until you start to do these things.
Increase Your Emotional Intelligence
Another thing that comes with experience is an ability to cope with uncertainty during tough times. We all have specific triggers in relation to stress, and the only way we can move these goalposts is to endure tough times, but also have an inherent understanding of the best ways we can manage our stress. Increasing your emotional intelligence is something you can do by implementing modern approaches to stress management, which you’ve heard before. Things like mindfulness, meditation, or yoga, are all things that are prescribed to help people cope with the ups and downs of life. But, you need to know what benefits you. It could be something simple, or it could be a combination of therapies, but you learn by daily inspiration from others, which is where the importance of self-education comes into play.
Understand The Difference Between Good And Bad Resources
When you’re learning to develop yourself, understanding good and bad information is a skill that you can harness to benefit you, but also others. When we don’t know where to begin as far as resources are concerned, we turn to education. Education is still one of those great ways to develop a foundation of skills and now there are so many ways we can develop our education. You can pursue a leadership MBA online, which gives you the necessary baseline in which to springboard and to inspire you to further accomplishments. The great thing about online courses is that you can complete these in your spare time, meaning that you are gaining the benefit of this education, but without having to leave your current job. This is a great approach if you’re looking to set up a business or a side hustle which demands you lead a group of people. At the same time, while there are many resources online to develop your skills, there are lots of learning materials on the internet that are of questionable quality. This is why it’s beneficial for you to learn the skill of separating the good resources from the bad. This isn’t just something you can apply to your own professional development, understanding good resources is an essential skill when looking for the right candidates, or sourcing out the relevant utilities for your business.
Learn To Trust Your Instincts
When it comes to picking the right people, processes, and utilities in a leadership role, your instinct is something you have to trust inherently. The fundamental core of a leader is someone who is methodical but makes decisions without a shred of doubt. This is arguably the biggest skill any leader can have. Making a choice, and going through with it, when there are other people’s jobs, money, or other varying factors, on the line, is the battle you have to win within yourself. Trusting your instincts is something every leader has to develop. Every leader doesn’t make the right decision, there can be grave mistakes. But if you know, upon making a decision, that in your heart of hearts, you’ve done everything you can to ensure that a decision was reached methodically, then you have been true to yourself. And no matter how many courses you go on, or skills you acquire, the most important progress you can make when developing leadership skills is aligning your head with your heart. We can all have a tendency to overthink, but the people who have made the biggest impact in the world are people who aren’t afraid to make mistakes. You can develop these skills by venturing out of your comfort zone. Once you’ve gone out of your comfort zone, go a little further, and a little further…
Every leader worth their salt understands that to progress, it’s not something that happens overnight. One day, you will wake up, years after starting your business, and realize how far you’ve come. It’s at this point that you may have realized that you’ve gone from wannabe entrepreneur to leader. And while you might find this incredibly enlightening, the crux underneath it is that you have to let the skills assimilate into you. It had to become a part of who you are. So, if you’re harboring dreams of being a leader in an industry, or starting your own business while learning the skills provides a healthy foundation to become a leader, it might take a long time for it to click. Much like creatives have to find their voice, it’s exactly the same process that you undergo as a leader. Rather than it being something that happens overnight, by making the small steps necessary, you will give yourself time to grow into the role. If you want to be a leader, it is not about playing the role; it’s about it becoming a part of you.