If you aspire to become a great leader, it’s important to remember that your leadership begins far before you have a leader’s title. The starting point of your leadership growth starts where you are today.
Great leadership is learned on the job; it is cultivated in the trenches of everyday experiences, and it comes from learning the ropes under every circumstance.
Who we are today will help us become better leaders tomorrow. There are always people who want the title just for showing up, but the rest of us know leadership is earned with hard work and dedication to the craft. It’s a lifelong process, one that we begin again every day. We have to develop from where we are to get to where we want to go.
Here are six ways to make it happen:
Learn from every experience. Take advantage of whatever surrounds you right now. Whether it’s positive or negative, every circumstance, conversation and connection holds lessons and principles and wisdom if you’re willing to learn. Never allow an opportunity to pass you by.
Focus on the collective. Don’t think only about your own advancement but consider how you can best interact with the others around you and how you can give credit to those who have put in great effort. Leadership means honoring others, and it is important to understand the value of the collective and learn that two is greater than one.
Make it a priority to get along with people. It is imperative that you learn to get along with people—those who are above you, those who stand beside you and those who look up to you. Make it a goal to build strong relationships of mutual learning and respect in every direction.
Work on communication every day. As you interact with people, learn to communicate concisely and clearly. When you speak, think of ways you can contribute that add real value, not just more noise. Ask questions, get feedback and let others know that you are open to dialogue. If you can remain curious there’s almost nothing you can’t learn.
Take on more responsibility. Even if the everyday requirements of your job keep you busy, the best way to truly stand out and learn from every experience is to take on more responsibility than most. Be the person who steps up and comes through as accountable and dependable.
Give your personal best. It’s not enough to speak if you don’t deliver, or take on a task if you don’t do it with excellence. In everything you do, give your personal best. Not only will it help your reputation but it will build your character.
Lead from within: Leadership growth begin with leading at your best today, wherever you are, is what prepares you to be a great leader for tomorrow.
- How to Become A Leader You Admire
- Let Your Leadership Speak For Itself
- The Leaders We Remember Most
- There Is No Significance Without Character
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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 is being released by Portfolio May 2017.