“I’m not sure I identify as a leader; I’d rather not boss people around.”
It is particularly interesting that many people have this assumption about leadership—for example, that you must be bossy, domineering, and in people’s faces—to cut the image of a real leader. Well, here’s the simple truth: The meaning of Leadership has long changed. You simply need to readjust your thinking a little.
Here are three key ways to find your inner leader, regardless of whether you aspire to climb the corporate ladder, strike out on your own one day, or simply become a more influential team member.
1. Ignore the stereotype of who a “Leader” is
If you are going to hone your abilities, you first need to be able to recognize that leadership may not mean what you think it is. This means that it’s time to get over the idea that you need some formal experience or training to be a leader.
Simply helping to identify team members who can efficiently carry out an assignment based on their strengths, is leadership. Leadership is teaching someone a valuable skill, encouraging someone who is struggling, or working through a problem to complete a project.
No matter what public opinion says, you have plenty of opportunities to lead others. Think of those experiences, and whenever you need to prove your leadership strength, you’ll have plenty of scenarios to draw from.
2. Realize leadership doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone
What this means is,everyone’s got a leadership style that fits their personalities. And whatever the style or meaning, the most successful leaders are genuine.
However, there are qualities from others’ leadership approaches that can be incorporated into yours. Think about why you admire the leaders you admire; their treatment of others, and attitude in a crisis. Are these attributes worth emulating?
As you discover and cultivate the style that fits your personality, you’ll find that it’s easier for you to assume a leadership role—because it will feel more genuine. This will help you develop into a more confident, capable leader.
3. Learn to identify as the leader that you are
Of course, at some point, you’ll probably be asked about your leadership style or abilities. Never fret. Think of ways you’ve been a leader in your past experiences, where you’ve had to influence others in positive and productive ways.
Remember, you don’t need any special powers to be a leader. No body was born a great leader; they all cultivated it. Take the time to consider what leadership means to you personally and how you can improve on your natural strengths to become the kind of person that people want to follow.
Once you do that, act it and continue learning from what works and what doesn’t. No doubts, soon you’ll be making a difference in your workplace, company or study group!
So, have you found your inner leader? We’d love to know in the comment box!