Today, I want to talk to you about being a leader.
There are just a few basic leadrship rules that I have always tried to follow. I have never believed leadership was about who you know,but more about who you are as a human being.
“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”
The responsibility of leadership is not to gain followers, but to build other leaders, because the rippple effective of making a positive impact on the lives of others is REAL.
Matthew 20:26-28 had it right. Real leaders serve others.
Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
I started my business career building a sales team that marketed Shaklee Nutirional Products in 1980 at a time in history when nobody believed in vitamins or supplementing your diet with proper nutrion.
Many of our sales team got misdiected and went down the rabbit hole of trying to become nutritionist and learn everything about every vitamin and how it helps people. They religiously studied Dr. Earl Mindell’s Vitamin Bible. I repeatedly tried to communicate if they wanted to build their own sales team to master the presentation we had provided them, and study every book you can on the top of Leadership!
Many will say that Social skills are some of the most important, but overlooked, leadership skill of all. I understand the concept of Win Friends and Influence people that Dale Carnagie wrote about. AS LONG AS YOUR COMMUNICATION IS AUTHENTIC! I have always felt that authanticity was more imorportant than hoping something you said won’t offend someone. Be who you are. Some people are social butterflies, honestly I am the type of person that hopes whomever is sitting me on the plain will not attempt to talk to me the entire flight, unless it is someone that I authentically connect with.
With that said, I accept the fact that I am not normal and I see the value in developing good social skills, but personally the last person I want to speak with is someone who is chatting me up and telling what they think I want to hear. Most people would describe these people as someone with good social skills, many times my description would just be annoying.
I do believe we should all attempt to develop our social skills to the best of ability understanding the right people are looking to connect with people of good character and who are authentic and not afraid to express their true beliefs.
- With good social skills, you get promoted faster
- With good social skills, you get better relationships — both as a single person and coupled up
- With good social skills, LIFE IS WAY MORE FUN
On the other hand, if you never think about social skills as something you can develop and improve … you’re just like everyone else.
So, let’s talk about the social skills you need to become a leader.
(Notice: Our minds have lots of invisible scripts about leaders, like leaders have to be seen as dominating or bossy or a jerk, but none of those things are necessarily true at all.) However the most important character trait of a leader is TELL THE TRUTH TO THOSE YOU LEAD, and everyone else for the matter.
We can all think of leaders who are very strong, and we can also think of leaders who are very loud, and we can also think of leaders who are very quiet and lead in their own way.
We can choose what kind of leader we want to be. Leadership starts with behavior. Anyone can think to themselves, “I want to be a leader,” but I’m going to talk about a few specific behaviors you can use to start leading today. Real leaders lead by example.
(Again, leading is not about being pushy or being the loudest person in the room. Leading is about taking responsibility for offering choices to people and for bringing out the best in yourself and in others.) As Ringo Starr told us “You don’t have to shot or leap about” but if it comes naturally, let it rip!
I heard a preacher say one time. “Set yourself on FIRE and people will come to watch your BURN”
How do you become a leader?
The first step is to start getting proactive.
A proactive leader takes 60 seconds to research topics they can talk about — what’s in the news, what’s trending, what do people in this group want to talk about, etc.
They ask themselves:
- How do I want people to feel?
- Do I want them to feel liked?
- Do I want them to feel entertained?
- Do I want them to feel attracted?
When was the last time you did this? I try to ask myself these questions before every podcast session I record, zoom training I do, or article I write.
Have you ever done this? It is a good habit to get into.
Most people spend their mornings chewing on a day-old bagel and mindlessly browsing their emails and social media feeds.
What if you took 60 seconds before you jumped into your first Zoom call of the day, summoned an incantation (“What Would Ramit Do Right Now?”), and decided how you want people to feel around you?
Plan your strategy, even for just 60 seconds, so that when you go in to any meeting (whether personal or professional), you’re not depending on others to entertain you — you’re starting off ready to go by adding value to others first.
Your day would be completely different. You would be taking the first step toward being a leader.
Being a proactive leader applies everywhere: deciding where to eat, what movie to see, what to do this weekend — there are a million examples.
In fact, a lot of times it doesn’t even matter what the decision is. It just matters that someone speaks up and says, “Let’s try this.”
That is the power of being a leader. It’s not about flexing your muscles all the time. It’s also about making simple suggestions, knowing that you’re adding value or helping others.
Some feel Leadership is just one social skill. I don’t know if I 100% agree with that but it is definately a SKILL and to become a leader it takes a conscioius decion to do so.
Have you made that decision? The world pays for leadership. Good managers are a dime a dozen, but leaders are rare. Look at great leaders in history and the value they brought to their organizations and companies. To be a great leader you first must be a good follower, to become a great follwer you need to first find the RIGHT MENTOR, but that is atopic for another article.