When you take control of your destiny you risk not only success but failure. It's that fear of failure that deters many of us to not push ourselves beyond our comfort zone. We all have in ourselves to be better than what we were yesterday. Tomorrow we have the option to be better than we were the day before. It is this constant option of freewill that we have to improve ourselves.
Becoming a leader has a risk of failing and any leader that says they haven't feared failure or hasn't failed is lying. Failure comes with the job and is what makes a leader even stronger. It is only how we deal with such failures that determines the type of leader that you are (or not).
Below are some of the key steps I have done to become a leader:
- Accept failure, learn from it, overcome it, and improve yourself on a daily basis.
- Be confident in your skills you already have, don't except that you don't have anything to learn, and continue to push yourself to grow.
- Become the "go to expert". This means a lot of studying. You thought you studied in school. That's a joke. To be a true expert you need to study more, harder, and as often as you can. Then you need to practice what you've learned.
- Treat others with respect, be firm in your answers and decisions while keeping the kindness of your heart always open to the person you are talking to. Remember that each person that you talk to is different, has their own struggles, and each is a unique soul on this planet.
- Stop following and lead. If all you ever do is copy you will ultimately never be as good of a leader as you could be. If you let others manipulate you for their own selflessness they are not leaders and you are just letting them manipulate you. We all learn by practice and if all you ever do is follow you will always be a follower even if your aspiration is to lead.
- Mentor those around you to be better than you. This is a hard thing as if you want to be the "expert" why would you make someone else an expert; even better than you? The simple answer is that one person cannot know everything and if there are two of you then you'll make a bigger and more positive difference in the world. A good leader will continue the mentoring and bring those around them up to expert level.
- Ask questions, don't be afraid to say you don't know, and always state you'll find the answer.
- Follow through with what you say you'll do. Leading by example is one of the best way to mentor and teach others.
- Look back, reflect, and adjust to change. Don’t dwell on the past; rather learn from it and move on as quickly as you can.
Being a leader is not for everyone and if you don't have the aspirations to be one then don't. Don't force yourself into a position that will not make you happy. Leadership is a mindset and one that requires you constantly take the higher road, help others, and be the best person you can be. Holding in any resentment, anger, or desires to "beat" someone shows you are not yet ready to be the leader that everyone else will want to aspire to be.