But I Am Not A Leader
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The phrase “but I’m not a leader…” is commonly heard throughout life. Whether at work or during a competition, it is not unheard of to find people who continually shy away from leadership positions. While many people are described as “natural leaders” from a young age, because they have a seemingly innate ability to take control of situations by ordering those around them, others would prefer to lay down low and avoid taking on duties or responsibilities.
Out of a fear of being given responsibility and failing, many people do not believe they can effectively take charge of a situation. However, when we examine this fear closely, we see that the prevailing issue is that the majority simply do not know how to be a good leader.
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Anyone who can confidently make the statement that they are not a good leader is in need of effective and practical leadership mentoring. Mentoring allows individuals to understand all there is to leadership, including its meaning, its importance, the skills needed and, crucially, how to gain and develop them.
Whether you know it or not, you can be a great leader. Leadership is not an innate ability and the best and most efficient leaders are not born: they are nurtured.
What Is Leadership?
Due to a lack of understanding around the term “leadership”, many shy away from being labelled as a leader. According to the dictionary, leadership is the “action of leading a group of people, or the ability to do this.” Leadership is all-encompassing: it involves motivating, directing, guiding and controlling, among other things. Leadership comes in various styles and characteristics and means different things to different people.
Another Perspective of Leadership
Although the dictionary gives us a generalised description of leadership, this comes across as more of a duty or obligation. Consider how many times you’ve been thrust into a position of power and felt obligated to take charge to avoid letting others down. But if we look at leadership more as a “way of living”, we can become much more comfortable with it.
Everyday life comes with unique situations, some which give us the opportunity to influence others in their actions and thoughts. Whether it’s at work, where you have an opportunity to work as a team, or at home, when a parent influences their child, we regularly experience interactions where we positively influence others. Undoubtedly, these are all opportunities for us to practice leadership.
But how can we do this effectively? This often comes down to the style of leadership that is adopted. When leaders are labeled as either good or bad, this then reflects, sometimes negatively, on the method of leadership they practice.
The most effective leaders are able to inspire others to commit to achieving their goals. People are motivated because they feel their ideas and initiatives are encouraged and heard. Employees pursue their goals not just because they are being supported, but also because a fire has been lit inside them. This gives them a passion for achieving their goals and provides a real sense of ownership of their actions and an investment in the outcome.
The Queen’s Young Leader programme is a wonderful example of the benefits of leadership for those looking for inspiration. This award celebrates young people who address various issues, from equality to education and mental health. One example is Leanne Armitage who, at 22, was rewarded for her work in encouraging young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the medical profession.
Yes, You Can Be a Leader!
There is no definitive and universal approach to being a good leader. Every situation and individual is unique, but it’s how leaders respond to these situations that establishes their effectiveness. Good leadership involves making sound, and sometimes difficult, decisions, establishing achievable goals and providing support and encouragement to colleagues and subordinates to enable them to achieve those goals. Ultimately, a good leader inspires others and shares ideas and successes with their team.
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The Living Leader offers leadership development programmes for people who want to enhance their leadership skills for both personal or professional purposes. Our courses range from our Personal Leadership Programme and Personal Leadership Masterclass to our Online Leadership Programme.
To book any of the above leadership development programmes, get in touch with us via our booking form, where you can also request a workbook for the full course prospectus.
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