Leadership seems to be the talk of the town these days.- What is leadership? What does it take to be a good leader? Lots of people are looking to “develop” their leadership or are looking for leadership “opportunities” but few people acknowledge that they are already a leader. Everyone is a leader somewhere in their lives. Where is that for you? Articulate the characteristics that you think a good leader demonstrates and then look for where you are demonstrating those characteristics.
Don’t think you’re a leader? Let me prove it to you. One commonly accepted skill that great leaders have is the ability to delegate. So where do you do that? Do you delegate housecleaning by hiring a service, or maybe you assign cleaning chores to your kids? Are you a member of work or volunteer committees where you delegate tasks? What about the skill of organization? Have you automated all your bill payments so that you never miss a deadline? Are you always on top of your social commitments?
Until you recognize where you’re currently a leader, it will be impossible to maximize your leadership potential in other areas. Identifying where you are already exhibiting your leadership has the effect of a) increasing your self-confidence regarding your leadership capacity; and b) highlighting the form of your specific leadership skills. Most of us unconsciously demonstrate our leadership abilities but by giving conscious attention to understanding the skills you already have and the context in which you’re using them, you can make informed choices about how next to develop and express your leadership. You can’t get somewhere new if you don’t know where you already are.
Since you can’t avoid being a leader, why not be more deliberate in how you do it? Think about expanding your leadership influence into previously unexplored areas, or maybe practicing different leadership skills. Proactively think about how you can use your leadership skills to more effectively support your goals. Do this and now you’re engaging in strategic thinking – just one more demonstration that you’re already a leader.