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Leaders are not born, they are made. We all have the potential to lead, we just need to learn the right skills and behaviours.

Leadership begins with the self, we have to really want to be a leader.
If you would like to build your leadership skills, the following tips will show you how.

If you would like to build your leadership skills, the following tips will show you how.

Self Leadership.

We all have a leader within, we just need to tap into that part of ourselves and develop it. How you influence your own behaviours in a way that embodies the leadership traits you expect to see in others will contribute greatly to your role as a leader. Observe how you treat others; are you empowering them and developing their leadership skills?  It is this type of self-awareness that will keep you focused on the objectives and goals of your business.

2. Know the Type of Leader You Want to Be.

To build your leadership skills you need to fully understand what it is to be a leader and what type of leader you want to be. Some people see leadership as positional; a place of authority, while others see it as an opportunity to influence the culture of an organisation and contribute to the development of others. Know your style of leadership, read leadership books and memoirs, learn from other great leaders. You will soon find your own style.

3. Know the Responsibilities of Leadership.

When you think about being a leader, what comes to mind? What are the associated roles and responsibilities? What do you want to give to the people you are leading?

Knowing the type of leader you want to be and the goals you want to achieve will give you a list of actions you need to take to get there. For me, I want to be the type of leader that empowers others, so that is my focus. When we’re under pressure or I’m delegating tasks I ask myself: is this empowering them? Am I contributing to their growth and development? If not, then I reassess my instructions or see if someone else could do that task. Knowing your responsibilities will ensure that you are the best leader you can be.

4. Lead by Example.

The fish rots from the head down, if you want a team that is engaged, positive and works hard, then you need to do the same. You need to lead by example. No question.

Nobody will have respect or loyalty for someone who wants them to ‘do as I say, not as I do’. It is leadership sabotage. Be the leader you want to follow; if you would like a boss who shows you respect, who rolls up her sleeves and helps out when the pressure is on, who can be trusted to tell the truth and to have your back, then you need to be that person.

5. Step Up Even When You’re Not in a Leadership Position.

Many times I have seen leadership traits in those who are not in a leadership position. They are sharing a vision and purpose, supporting and empowering others to do better and to get the job done.

As Warren Bennis says; “Effective leaders learn by leading” or as Nike says; just do it!

6. Continuous Improvement.                                  

J.F.Kennedy once said; Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”  Leadership is a dynamic process, we are always learning and growing. Accept that you will need to actively build your knowledge and skills if you are going to remain an effective leader.

7. Be Authentic.

I’ve saved the best until last.

To be a great leader you need to be authentic. Your leadership should be one that is based on trust, respect and open, honest communication. Authentic leaders focus on building a strong team of engaged, committed members.

The focus is not only on profit and the bottom line. Although, they are found to increase as a result of a highly productive team led by an authentic leader. I highly recommend that you pick up the book ‘True North’ by Bill George which studies 125 authentic leaders.

We are all capable of developing our leadership skills. If you want to be a leader then step up and build your leadership skills. Observe and learn from others, find leadership mentors that you respect, learn from them and model their behaviours. Believe in yourself and soon you will find that others do too.

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