Disclaimer – the title of this post contains an inherent flaw. You see, by using the word, “non-Leader” I am implying that leadership is a role a title or is some how granted to you.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The reality is that everyone can be a leader, when they behave like one. The following is a short list of some specific leadership behaviors that all of us can do (whether we have the “title” or not) that will help us both build our leadership skills and provide leadership results.
Choose a positive attitude. Our attitude is contagious. If we are leading, we want the attitude we are spreading to be a prodcutive one. Even those who dismiss positive thinking recognize that it produces better results over time than negative thinking does.
Be other focused. Leadership isn’t about power, it is about influence. If you want to be more influential, focus on and serve others.
Be encouraging. Show your believe in others. Look for opportunities to give them positive feedback. Support their efforts and help when you can.
Listen more, talk less. When we listen we learn about the other person’s needs, wants and desires. When we understand those, we are in a better position to lead them towards a future that meets those needs and satisfies those wants.
Practice and improve your communication skills. Yes, listening is one of these, but in order to lead – from whatever position – you must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, both interpersonally and in front of a group.
Be a great follower. Since leadership is an activity and not a role, recognize that you won’t always be leading, you must be willing and able to follow others too. Developing this as a conscious practice will help you build your relationships and allow you to observe others as they lead.
Be a learner. This is important for two reasons – being a more effective human being (let alone leader) requires us to be continuing to learn and develop ourselves. Beyond that, if we become a positive role model for others – helping them see the important of learning as well.
This is not a complete and exhaustive list by any means. It is however a perfect start on your personal leadership development program.
Now is the time to get started – there is no time to waste! The best news is that any of these can be worked on starting immediately.
Like right now.