Marie Curie once said, “We must believe that we are gifted for something, and this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
That something is our purpose, and our gifts hold our potential. To realize that potential, you must first understand how to unleash the power that’s already within you.
No matter how gifted a leader you may be, you will never be truly successful in leadership until you find the traits and the skills that make you who you are and turn your potential into the force it can become.
Here are 69 simple ways to unleash your leadership potential:
1. Be purposeful. The purpose of life is to be useful, to be honorable, to make a difference with who you are and what you can achieve.
2. Be of good character. Leadership is a potent combination of policy and character. But if you must be without one, be without policy.
3. Be passionate. The courage to fulfill your vision, live your values, and set higher standards comes from passion, not position.
4. Be wealthy. The successful person is the person who is much, not the one who has much.
5. Be motivated. Stay close to sources of inspiration but be insightful enough to motivate yourself from within.
6. Be considerate. Great leaders are considerate because they know how hard it is to change themselves, let alone try to change others.
7. Be attentive. Be attentive when someone is speaking. Give your full attention, and don’t become distracted with yourself or something else.
8. Be sharp. Don’t necessarily avoid the sharp edges; sometimes they’re necessary.
9. Be emotionally intelligent. Those who hurt can instruct; those who understand can grasp. Those who are emotionally intelligent can lead.
10. Be bold. The boldest things in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.
11. Be present. Life is in session–are you present?
12. Be authentic. Authenticity is the alignment of head, heart, and mind– thinking, feeling, and doing the same thing–consistently.
13. Be responsive. Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it. You always have a choice.
14. Be coachable. Don’t close off opportunities to learn just because you think you know enough. Let every encounter be a learning lesson. The moment you close yourself off is the moment you stop learning.
15. Be trustworthy. Honor your commitments; always do what you say you will do.
16. Be a listener. The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to be silent and listen.
17. Be courageous. Never back down from a challenge; find your courage to be brave.
18. Be encouraging. Encouraging others leads to great leadership.
19. Be organized. Make a place for everything and keep it there.
20. Be compassionate. It’s a necessity, not a luxury.
21. Be committed. There is no abiding success without commitment.
22. Be strong. You’re already much stronger than you think.
23. Be enthusiastic. Approach all you do with excitement, and bring that same energy to everything you do and everyone you meet.
24. Be altruistic. Try to become not a person of success but a person of value and meaning.
25. Be productive. Productivity never happens by accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence with focused effort.
26. Be cooperative. Life is possible because we have each other.
27. Be genuine. Genuine grace speaks for itself what no words can express.
28. Be empathetic. Learn to see things from others’ perspectives. It’ll let you understand people better, resolve conflicts, and develop meaningful connections.
29. Be assertive. All those who say you can’t? Show them that you can.
30. Be loyal. When respect is earned, trust is gained, and then loyalty is returned.
31. Be persistent. Plan purposefully. Proceed passionately. Pursue persistently.
32. Be courteous. Practice good etiquette, because it’s hard to have success without courtesy.
33. Be patient. Most things come at the right moment.
34. Be faithful. Believe that everything will fall into place.
35. Be approachable. If you see someone you don’t know, take the first step to know them.
36. Be fair. You cannot be fair to others without first being fair to yourself.
37. Be confident. You can succeed at virtually anything if you have confidence.
38. Be caring. Show concern for those in need. Don’t wait for others to ask for help; be the one who jumps in.
39. Be accepting. Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be appreciation.
40. Be kind. Kindness is one of the greatness gifts you can bestow on another.
41. Be forgiving. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.
42. Be moral. Our ethics are the fiber of our deepest selves.
43. Be dependable. Be there for others when they need you.
44. Be sincere. The most deeply felt emotions are the hardest to express with words.
45. Be curious. Seek out new opportunities and adventures.
46. Be spontaneous. Life is a series of natural, spontaneous occurrences–don’t resist them but embrace them.
47. Be understanding. It’s the source of compassion.
48. Be memorable. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.
49. Be calm. Remaining still in chaos helps us understand that things can happen in a different order than the one we have had in mind.
50. Be adventurous. Leadership begins at the edge of your comfort zone.
51. Be honest. Tell the truth, no matter how much it hurts.
52. Be humble. We’re all here to serve one another.
53. Be independent. Those who learn how to manage life on their own are those who don’t impose on others.
54. Be intuitive. Follow your gut and learn to trust it.
55. Be respectful. Seek to understand others before you seek to be understood.
56. Be vulnerable. Vulnerability is the new strength.
57. Be resilient. You are not what happened to you; you are what you choose to be.
58. Be flexible. It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but those that are most flexible and adaptable to life.
59. Be mindful. You will draw to you that which you most persistently think about.
60. Be magnanimous. For every time that people do you wrong, be ready to forgive and forget.
61. Be self-actualized. You can best know others by knowing more about yourself.
62. Be solution-oriented. One of the tests of leadership is having the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.
63. Be energetic. The world belongs to those who get up and move around in it.
64. Be focused. Set a goal and stay on it until you get measurable results.
65. Be helpful. Offer your help to people who don’t even ask for it.
66. Be an investor. Invest in your future by believing in yourself.
67. Be grateful. Seek opportunities to express thanks in word and deed.
68. Be thoughtful. Make it a habit to consider others in your decisions and actions, for they affect other people.
69. Be the leader. A leader is someone who is able to inspire others to be bigger than who they are.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
THE LEADERSHIP GAP
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.