What does it take to be a good leader? When I think of a leader I think of someone who is organized, responsible, dependable. But leadership is changing. It has changed, and it will continue to change as our consciousness evolves. There is a new leadership paradigm happening right now, and it’s not about who is on top.
We live in such an exciting time where the opportunity for self-development is everywhere. We have resources at our fingertips to guide us and help us grow into better leaders.
Before we can even begin to think about being a great leader we need to lay a solid foundation, because a good leader has many layers. Like an onion. If someone is a great leader it will almost make you cry. Think about leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. Quite the tear jerkers.
First and foremost we need to be able to lead ourselves. We need to trust ourselves, and possess the type of confidence that is infectious. However, we must be mindful of this confidence and make sure it is far from cockiness. There’s a fine line between cocky and confident. A great leader believes in themselves, but does not put themselves above anyone else. They understand that they are part of the collective and make sure to be on everyone else’s level.
That leads me to my second point, a great leader is part of the team, not above it. A leader operates at the same level as everyone else and does not believe in a hierarchy. That is where the paradigm begins. Taking leadership to a whole new level when really there are no levels. Everyone is operating on the same frequency.
You need to have a strong constitution. You should never compromise your values or beliefs. It’s also important to be your authentic self.
When you are being authentic you are adaptable. You can relate to your people and make sure they are seen and heard. The people you lead want to be heard, so listen. The better listener you are, the more your employees will trust you and confide in you.
In a recent leadership article in Forbes Magazine it explains that, “The leader that does not seek to be significant cares primarily for recognition, while the leader that seeks to be significant cares primarily for respect. Recognition explodes and subsides, respect reverberates and multiplies. Significance allows your leadership to be more sustainable than success itself.”
As a leader you want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. You are a role model and people look up to you. With that comes great responsibility that should be taken both comically and seriously.
What do I mean by that? No one likes a stone-faced leader. People like to laugh and have fun, so why not be a leader that embraces that? Why not create a work environment that people actually enjoy? Being a leader doesn’t make you better or smarter or more likeable, it gives you the opportunity to take responsibility for yourself and your actions, and pushes you to live your authentic self. And when we’re living our life as our authentic self, we begin to truly understand why this life is worth living.