What is Leadership?
Leadership is the set of qualities that causes people to follow. Although this definition may be circular, it does demonstrate that leadership requires at least two parties, a leader and a follower. Many experts have argued over what exactly causes a group to follow one person and not other, but the decision to follow a leader seems to come down to just a few things.
Leaders have an ability to inspire people to go beyond what they think they are capable of doing, making it possible for a group to attain a goal that was previously thought unattainable. Leaders carry their followers along by
- Inspiring their trust
- Acting consistently
- Motivating them by word and deeds
Although these actions explain what a leader does. It doesn’t really answer the question of what leadership is. In reality, leadership boils down to a willingness to accept responsibility and the ability to develop three skills that can be acquired through practice. When you properly put these skills together, people begin to turn to you when they need direction. The following sections explain what these skills are and how you can use them to lead effectively.
Leadership begins with the willingness to embrace responsibility. Accepting the responsibilities that you are given is not enough. You have to be the one who step forward and says. “I want to do that”
You can’t be leader if you are afraid of responsibility and accountability.
Three Key Leadership Abilities
After you decide that you can embrace responsibility, leadership requires that you be able to do three things well:
- Elicit the cooperation of others. You must be able to get others to buy into your vision of the future and the right way to get there
- Listen well. You have to be able to gather many kinds of information from other in order to lead; doing so requires that you hone your listening skills
- Place the needs of others above your own needs. Leadership requires that you be willing to sacrifice for a greater goal.
The trick to becoming a leader is to be able to elicit cooperation, to listen to the needs of other, and to put other people’s needs ahead of your own with great consistency. The smallest child can elicit cooperation from his parents when he wants or needs something. Only a complete egomaniac does not occasionally listen to the needs of others. Putting someone else’s needs a head of your own for a little while isn’t difficult, especially if it’s going to eventually get you something that you want. The skill is to be able to harness these abilities on a regular basis so that you can become a consistent practitioner of leadership skills