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Leadership: A Challenge Worth Undertaking
Being a leader is a truly rewarding calling for all of us. While you may not be called to lead a Fortune 500 company or hold a political position, leading can be something as simple as creating a neighborhood watch group, improving a process, or sharing a stance on an issue you feel strongly about. It’s moments of leadership that leave our mark on the world. A leader can look back on a life of accomplishments and say they truly made a difference in the world; while others may be left thinking they just stood on the sidelines as life just past them by.
Being a leader takes work. It will take time to find your particular style and hone your skills; no one is a truly born leader. Certain inherit characteristics help, but can these can be learned, practiced, and fine tuned. It is often hard when to identify the areas in which we need to improve. These areas are often much more obvious to those we work or interact with frequently. Try asking those who you interact with most frequently if they view you as leader.
Leadership is indeed an art and there are an infinite number of unique leadership styles, however for a leader to be truly effective they must roughly follow the following formula. Lead by example; modeling the way for constituents. Keep promises and follow through on commitments. Develop a strong values and beliefs. Other’s can relate and be inspired by someone who with genuine convictions.
One of the most important characteristics of a good leader is their ability to challenge processes, a good leader should never accept things the way they are, but, rather look for ways they can be improved. A person doesn’t have to be boisterous or of incredible charisma to challenge a process, this is a great character trait to work on particularly for those on the more introverted side.
It is crucial that all leaders have the ability to empower action in others. This is not a big complicated undertaking, but rather fairly simple. Empowerment is created by strong relationships, shared responsibility, and conveyed interdependence. An effective leader’s team exemplifies each of these characteristics.
A decision to lead is life changing. Those who start working today on finding leadership opportunities and a style that corresponds with their personality will find life more fulfilling than ever before and something they can be proud to look back on.