The desire to be a leader

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 April, 2009, 12:00am

Leadership is not an exclusive club for those who were born with it. Traits that are the raw materials of leadership can be acquired. Link them with desire and nothing can keep you from becoming a leader.

There are different ways to lead. Leadership does not necessarily mean taking charge.

You can set an example in what you say and do. You can introduce new ideas that help solve problems. Or you can help to settle disagreements by encouraging a spirit of co-operation.

You can develop your leadership potential by taking the time to analyse yourself.

Before you can successfully interact with others, you need to answer these two important questions:

Who am I? Am I a leader who helps solve problems, a leader who helps people get along, a take-charge leader, a person who leads by example or a person who is able to combine these different leadership styles? How do others see me as a leader?

What am I doing here? What are my goals, purposes and expectations in working with this group or organisation? What are the purposes of the group?

Help develop team spirit

Start by becoming team-minded. You can encourage enthusiasm and a sense of belonging among group members by showing friendliness.

Take an interest in the other members of your group. Get to know them and find out what makes them motivated. Others will be more willing to share ideas with you if you are interested in them as people too.

Try to be constructive, tolerant and tactful when offering feedback.

Work towards team goals

A team of individuals working together, sharing ideas and responsibilities, can accomplish much more than a team of individuals working alone.

Remind everyone of the group's purposes from time to time. It's easy to become sidetracked and lose sight of your goals.

Provide encouragement and motivation by showing your appreciation for good ideas and extra effort.

Harmonise differences between group members by stressing compromise and co-operation. Don't hesitate to make decisions. Involve everyone in discussions and decisions.

Treat others as individuals

Put your knowledge and understanding of each group member to work. Be aware of expectations.

Everyone deserves individual treatment because everyone expects something different - recognition, a chance to learn, a chance to work with other people, etc.

Delegate responsibilities

Everyone should share the work so that everyone can share pride in the group's accomplishments. Everyone should know what's expected of him/her, what resources are available and what deadlines must be met.

Your school, university, sports team, family - all these groups need good leadership. Make a difference.


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The desire to be a leader

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