The importance of leadership begins with YOU and becoming the person YOU would want to follow. There are no days off when it comes to leadership- and it is tested and challenged every day. You can’t effectively lead others if you aren’t true to yourself. You won’t go the extra mile, and you won’t stand tall in the middle of the storm living someone else’s beliefs and values. I can’t remember another time in my life with everything that is going on in our country where the importance of leadership is more needed. Remember, It Starts with YOU, and you have to own YOU, so don’t give up on your values when they are needed the most.
Most leaders are born in tough times. Someone always stands tall during the setbacks and struggles. Why not you? Here’s the question, are YOU following YOU through the struggles our country is facing? Leadership is taking the hard times and leveraging it to your advantage or the goodwill of the team. In today’s terms, the team represents our country. John F Kennedy said it best, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
To share the importance of leadership, I have come up with ten principles to help you become a better leader.
- Leaders put the team and people first. Not some of the time, all of the time.
- Leaders are in the people business. The deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership. Encourage others daily because encouragement is oxygen for the soul.
- Leaders take 100% responsibility. When you blame others or make excuses, you give away your leadership power. No one wants to follow a person who is always playing the victim or making excuses.
- Leaders value words. They understand the power of language and the tone in which it said. Don’t forget, the words that come out of your mouth determine how you feel, and your language broadcasts your beliefs. Become a person who inspires, encourages, and elevates people through your words.
- Leaders are great listeners. For most of us, our egos are screaming so loudly we have no ears to listen. To understand others, we first need to listen. When we speak, we only say what we know. When we listen, we have the opportunity to hear and understand what we don’t know.
- Leaders serve and provide hope. Zig Zigler said it best, “help enough people get what they want, and you will get everything you want.” A great question to ask others, What can I do for you?
- Leaders take action. Ideas without execution are worthless. Leaders never ask the team to do something that they are not willing to do themselves.
- Leaders have great character. Your true character shows up by your level of action when no one is watching. You will come out of this current crisis, either better or worse. I believe your character will determine which one of the two.
- Leaders never stop learning. They maintain the student mindset. Every day represents an opportunity to learn and get better. Create a habit where you go to school every day and work on your personal leadership skills.
- Leaders provide vision. They have unshakable faith in their vision. Great leaders find a way to see the light in the darkness.
In closing, our country’s current circumstances have never been screaming louder for the importance of leadership. Are you ready to take personal responsibility and become the person YOU would want to follow? As a country, we are being tested. The challenge is for every one of us to stand tall amid the darkness. I believe in us, and I believe we will prevail even though it will be painful.