In my previous blog post, I asked people to define “what is leadership to you?”
There were a lot of great definitions and answers that were contributed and allow me to share with you mine.
Leadership is all about INFLUENCE. It is about who listens to you when you speak and how much influence you have over them. People who have higher influencing ability tend to have a larger group of people following them. If you want to know whether you have strong leadership ability, it is pretty simple. Just look behind and check if anyone is following you.
Most people tend to find leaders by their titles given to them, eg. he’s the group leader or she’s the director of this department. However, I want to caution you that this is the lowest level of leadership. This is because you can be a leader by position, but that does not mean that you will be able to lead people by their hearts. A higher form of leadership exists where people follow you simply because of what you say, stand for and believe in, rather than your position.
So, how do you influence more people? I would like to suggest that there are many ways, but I will list down a few principles:
1. Move in integrity. When you are integral in your life (meaning, your thoughts, actions and speech are coherent), people will have more faith and trust in you.
2. Willing to spend time and invest in people. When you develop a person’s life in some area, whether through coaching. mentoring or teaching, you are demonstrating that you are truly interested in their growth.
3. Establish clear communications. Everyone knows exactly what you mean and will not misinterpret your message. To have less communication breakdown, you will need to spend time with people (point 2).
4. Lead themselves well. A great leader leads himself or herself well, with or without people around them. They understand that their credibility and consistency is important before people listens to them.
It is in my firm belief that anyone can develop in their leadership ability, since it is an observable behaviour. However, to be a great leader, you must have outstanding character and talent as well. Before you lead others, lead yourself first!