Are leaders made or are leaders born? Approximately 10% of leaders are born, according to leadership expert John Maxwell. However, even born leaders need to develop and train to some extent, no matter how great their innate qualities of leadership are. This process does not happen overnight. It is a lifelong journey of learning and of being moulded into the leader they are meant to be.
So what are these born leaders striving to improve? Here are several qualities of leadership they focus on that will also help you to cultivate yourself into the leader you are working toward becoming.
Leaders fail and yet move forward.
Believe it or not, failure leads to success! It is the people that have failed in life, who have made mistakes, who have fallen off the horse and gotten back up that are better able to understand and relate to those they work with because they have already gone through failures themselves. Failure helps to craft the best leaders. So if you have fallen down once or twice, do not be afraid to get back up and try again.
Leaders communicate with their employees.
As a leader, how can you expect people to follow you unless you show them which way you are going? Another leadership expert, Danto Manquez Jr., says, “A leader must get things done through others, therefore the leader must have the ability to inspire and motivate, guide and direct, and listen. It’s only through communication that the leader is able to cause others to internalize his or her vision and implement it.”
Do your employees know what you expect of them? Is it simply laid out for them or is guesswork involved? Are you inspiring and motivating your employees? Ask yourself these questions and remember that communication is essential for any leader in any organization.
Leaders empower their employees.
One of the best ways to instill confidence in your employees is to trust them. If you tend to be a person who has to make sure everything gets done yourself, start out small. Give your employees a small task to start with and go from there. Delegate! Delegate! Delegate! Not only will your employees feel a sense of accomplishment, but your load will be made lighter by being able to share some of the weight with your team.
Leaders get involved and lead the way.
Do not be willing to ask your employees to do something you would not be willing to do yourself. Take the initiative in your company; lead the way. Some of the best success stories out there are about leaders that have gotten down on their hands and knees in the mud and have worked with their employees on the most undesirable of jobs. And if you ask any of their employees, you will find that they all have a great respect for their leader and would follow them on any job because they know that their leaders will lead the way by example. Whenever you find an opportunity, do it!
Leadership is not all that it is made up to be. While leaders are often seen in the glory and limelight, and this causes people to desire to be in the same position as them, being a leader involves hard work and sacrifice. It often means trudging through the dirt and grime to reach the desired goal. Sometimes it can also mean being disliked by your employees and being defeated time and time again, yet continuing to get back up after you have been punched for the twentieth time! But it is through these experiences that the very best qualities of leadership are cultivated, so embrace it all, the good and the bad!