What makes you a leader

Leadership is about people, it has nothing to do with any title. Anyone disagree?

Being a leader is not easy. Every individual is different from the other and come from different background, and has different thought process. This is one reason why some people shy away from more senior positions which require more leadership. Leadership is a skill that can be learnt and like any skill, some people will initially be better at it than others.

So leadership is all about understanding people.

So-called leadership titles like, “CEO”, “VP”, “GM”, etc., only show their power over others.If you want to be a true leader, you must inspire your employees through your actions.

As John Quincy Adams said,

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

The world doesn’t need the bosses, it needs leaders who understand their jobs — and the job of a leader is to grow more leaders.There’s no blueprint to become a good leader, it’s a step-by-step process.

But here are some traits which can help you to become a good leader.

1. Be Your Own Leader

Everything starts with YOU. If you cannot lead yourself, then you can never lead anyone else. Self-leadership is the greatest challenge for anyone as a leader.

Spend quiet time with yourself to know yourself. Discover who you are, what you want to achieve, and how will you get it.

Learn from your experiences, develop self discipline and take action. Always stay connected with people and look for opportunities because this adds to our knowledge.

A successful leader doesn’t move without practical definite plans. They plan their work and work their plan.

“A self-leader looks around for problems, and then thinks deep to device solutions to them.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

2. Value Every Relationship

A true leader focuses on people, not power.
Don’t become a title-driven leader, be a relationship-driven leader.

You can’t lead people unless you value every relationship and understand them.

If you’re talking to your employee, no matter what’s his/her job profile (whether he’s janitor or a junior member), always remember that there is a person behind that job profile — they’re more than a tool and resource.

So always try to add some value in their life.

“Your words and deeds must match if you expect employees to trust in your leadership.” 
— Kevin Cruise

3. Say ‘Thank You’ to Your Employees
Two simple words have the power to motivate and inspire your employees and make them feel great — Thank You. Appreciation and gratitude go a long way to leadership success.

Your team helps you accomplish a goal, give the credit to them, and let them shine.
When you say thank you, it represents that you’re truly a grateful person. Your every employee makes a difference.

When employees feel valued and appreciated, they’re more likely to do great work for your company. Make it a habit to say thank you.

Remember, great leaders claim none of the honors.

Harvey Mackay said it best:

“A smart manager will establish a culture of gratitude. Expand the appreciative attitude to suppliers, vendors, delivery people, and of course, customers.”

4. Encourage People to Do Their Job
“Terry, you did a great job of dealing with client this morning. Keep up the good work.”

This simple line has a great power to encourage employees like Terry to do their best work.

It costs you nothing, but the results can be enormous.

Successful leader praises his team by telling them that they are doing great work.

Most of the people don’t work only for money, they do it because they believe that their work matters.

Share your vision and mission with them and ask for their inputs. Motivated people are excited about their job and perform well.

“As a leader, I am tough on myself and I raise the standard for everybody; however, I am very caring because I want people to excel at what they are doing so that they can aspire to be me in the future.” — Indra Nooyi
5. Always Be a Good Listener
Always listen what your team members want to say. What are their ideas and suggestions, even if you don’t like it.

Don’t just hear, but genuinely listen to them. The door to the office of the real leader is open to all who wish to enter. Employees want a leader who cares about them. Put yourself in their shoes.

Your listening skills determine the quality of your influence. A true leader is never too busy to connect and maintain a solid relationship with his team.

As Napoleon Hill said,

“People may follow the forced leadership temporarily, but they will not do so willingly.”

6. Be a Person of Values

“your job gives you authority, but your actions earns you respect.”
Leadership calls for respect.

Don’t become that leader who is not loyal to his associates.Lack of honesty, loyalty, and ethics are the major causes of failure in your personal and professional life.

Don’t just work on improving your success rate, you must work on improving your personality and value rate. It’s not the size of your office which makes you a great leader — your values and character does.

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.”
Take a minute and think about the values that matter most to you.

I would love to hear your thoughts and views on leadership and if there are any other steps you would like to add or replace.