Forbes defines leadership as a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievements of a goal.
Leadership Can Come From Anyone
But, what does this really mean and when do you or can you consider yourself a leader? Ask yourself these questions:
What does leadership mean to you?
Do you feel comfortable calling yourself a leader or if others were to reference you as a leader?
Does this concept make you nervous or uncomfortable?
Leadership is just a concept.
A word that places responsibility and respect into the hands of an individual. You can show leadership in so many ways and on various levels. Leadership should not be a topic that makes anyone feel uneasy. Because leadership is the easiest way to discover where you bring value and how to use your key strengths.
Find the leader in you.
Leadership has nothing to do with your title, salary, or the letters behind your name. Leadership comes from the way you carry your values and how you treat others. You do not have to hold an elite position in order to bring value to your company and make a difference. Sometimes it is harder to be recognized in your organization for leadership qualities when you hold a position that is maybe not an executive title. Put yourself out there, do not be afraid to voice your ideas, and be confident. Take the initiative to set yourself apart and see where it may take you!
Having empathy as a leader.
One of the most crucial components of leadership is the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes. The ability to understand how others work together. Creating an atmosphere that is inviting of all ideas will show that you care for others. Showing empathy will show others that you are passionate about not only the mission of the company but also your fellow co-workers and the market you serve. You do not need a prestigious degree in order to show empathy. Empathy can be achieved though just simply taking a step back from the situation. Look at the bigger picture and remember the reason why you are with this organization.
Never stop learning.
Even the most qualified CEOs can still find room for growth. Continue to find avenues to help you grow in your personal and professional goals. The ability to admit your mistakes or admit your challenges can say a lot about you as a leader. Finding knowledge can come from so many places.
Find opportunitues to expand your knowledge of leadership through:
Finding professionals in your field and create connections with them. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those leaders that you admire. More than likely they will be willing to talk with you. It is hard to find help and get your name out there if you never try!
Seek out podcasts, blogs, books, or conferences that discuss leadership and growth. Here are a few reads recommended for emerging leaders:
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey
Start With Why - Simon Sinek
The Icarus Deception - Seth Godin
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - Patrick Lencioni
The Energy Bus - Jon Gordon