You know you are a leader because you not only lead from the front line, you bring your followers to your side because you lead through the reproduction of leaders. You consistently make a point of investing quality time and resources to show your people the vision and that you believe in them, because only when your team succeeds, you succeed and it’s always a win-win situation for everyone. No matter what line of work, or industry you’re in, your duty as an authentic leader is to truly care about your people’s personal goals and dreams and to see the potential in each of them. You must find out what they lack and how to develop it, and then equip them with the necessary tools and resources they need to achieve their goals in business and personally.
- Everyone wants to have a purpose and feel that what they do counts for something and that they are important to someone. By appreciating people, they will always work harder, and work above and beyond what they need to. For those who genuinely care about them, their trust will earn you a ton of R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
- People can sense the attitude of their leaders. You need to be positive and passionate at what you do in order to be successful at empowering people. You have to be aware of your presence, how you deal with negativity, never reacting but dealing with issues in a way that your people will mimic. Your attitude will rub off on others.
- The best leaders always find the answers if they cannot provide them. You share your knowledge and give them whatever they need to succeed at their job or task. Leaders engage and do not wait for the worst to happen before someone comes to them. You are pro-active and are always checking in because you know that people need communication to be kept in the loop.
- Setting examples and leading by example is the way of empowerment. Outstanding leaders let others participate and use their voice. Your leadership should never depend on your mood, or what happened at home, or if a deal fell through, ethics and attitudes should always be consistent no matter what so that it trickles down to your team. Remember having a ‘boss’ where you never knew what kind of mood they would be in or trying to dodge them in the hallways of the office? Leaders always set good examples.
- Leadership is truly about duplication by grooming others for leadership. When you coach others, you’re ultimately giving them the same opportunity to lead a pack of their own. You are all working towards the ultimate goal of letting that person go into the wild, by passing on the crown, or the baton, if you will. Everyone has the power to inspire and empower others. When you lead from within, you empower people, as well you’re influencing and inspiring not only them but also all the people they will influence in turn through their leadership. Now that is rewarding and extremely empowering.
- Respect and understanding that not everyone you work with will be able to see the vision immediately or grasp the concepts as fast as others. Being flexible in your leadership and being able to communicate effectively to people in a way that is empowering and uplifting is what will move someone to continue their journey in becoming an authentic leader. If someone has the burning desire to win, then patience is a true virtue of having as a leader.
- Most importantly, even before you begin to communicate, you must become an expert listener in order to provide your client with a solution. A conversation should never be treated like a competitive sport and in most conversations, the person who speaks the least benefits most because they are receiving information. Leaders listen to qualify their customer for the products or services they offer.
- As a leader, you are always giving of yourself by constantly being generous, thoughtful and forgiving. You are willing to give your time, expertise, vitality, motivation, and wisdom because you know that the more you give the more successful your team will be and feel appreciated; and that is the selfless part of a leader. A gracious leader has a loyal following.
- Wearing inappropriate attire can undermine your authority so ensure that you always dress to represent your authentic self to attract those who appreciate who you are internally. The image you choose can either support or hinder your brand, along with the messages you’re trying to bring to the to the table or to get that first point of contact. Leaders dress for success!
As a wise leader, you must also develop your own skills by investing in yourself through personal development, having a mentor or coach, and constantly learning a new skill set not necessarily in the same industry you have always been in. Be open and start looking for opportunities today, and see your leadership grow. As Richard Branson says, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” Be gracious, stay positive, and be diverse and the world is your oyster.