“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John Maxwell
Leadership is a process of social influence towards the achievement of a goal. It is one of the most important skills you can master, it makes you more attractive and helps you navigate through life better. A lot of men fail at this.
This is a word to men out there to realise the importance of leading and to take action in getting better at it. I promise it will change your life for the better.
Importance of Leading
Leadership skills affect every area of your life. Professionally, socially and at home. Here are some reasons to why it is important.
Leading builds confidence and the more you do it the more confident you get as it instills a deeper level of belief in your decisions. We all know how importance confidence is.
A leader takes action independent of other people so you’ll get more done, simple.
Leading is also attractive and builds respect as it is an indicator of social status and many other desirable traits such as courage, clarity and competency. Things women like ;).
How to Lead
These are some fundamentals of leading which you can actually learn. Some people think you have to be a natural-born leader. I believe it can be learnt and after some time it will become part of your nature.
1) Lead yourself first before you can lead others. This means trusting your own decisions and being okay with leaving the crowd.
2) Lead by example. Nothing is more motivating and builds trust than doing what you’re asking other people to do.
3) Communicate effectively. If you want to be a great leader you must work on your communication skills, you must be able to handle conflict well, become a good listener and build strong interpersonal relationships.
4) Energy, enthusiasm and optimism. Your energy will either lift people up or bring people down. A leader must show discipline and be the most energised to support the people following him.
You also won’t follow someone that is a defeatist because that doesn’t get you anywhere so optimism fused with energy is needed to be a great leader.
5) Commitment and consistency. People need to trust you are the real deal if you want to be a leader so you must regularly show your resolve and worth by keeping yourself on track.
6) Personal development and knowledge. Read as much as you can and learn as much as you can. The more you know the more you can teach others and take the correct steps which make you a better leader.
7) Emotional intelligence. This is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of the people around you. Often leaders are very emotive because it’s contagious. A passionate leader will infuse those around him with the same emotion. Influence is very much based on how you make people feel.
8) Honesty. This is a trait for the bravest and best leaders. In a survey of 100,000 people by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner this was the most valued leadership quality (89%). If you display honesty at even the most difficult times you will build trust in the people around you. People follow people they can trust.
9) Persistence. You must become someone that gets back up when he fails. That consistently pursues a goal no matter what. A leader gives strength to the people around him.
10) Become a risk taker. This is one thing that separates the leaders and the followers. Believe in your decision and be willing to handle the consequences however it goes. Start with small challenges and you’ll be ready for the big ones. Risk taking is a habit.
11) Love and compassion. Terrible leaders and people, in general, believe life has to be a win-lose situation. Where in order for one person to win another has to lose.
Brilliant leaders help themselves and the people around him win. Whether it’s a night out and you’re taking the lead you should be thinking about how to make it as epic as you can for everyone not just yourself.
That level of caring will empower others and help them to achieve their full potential. This is how you leave a legacy.
12) Vision. Have a clear sense of what you want in any situation and how to get there. Always look at the big picture. A leader is a man that solves problems and takes the burden on him to make things happen.
BONUS : Practical Exercises
1) Whenever there is a decision to be made at work, at home or with friends. Be the first person to make a decisive suggestion. You need the practice until it starts to become natural to you.
2) To lead you need to become an expert decision maker. Start forcing yourself to make any decision in your life within 5 minutes. Big or Small. Your gut is normally right and most of the time you overcomplicate things.
This has had incredible results for me in terms of getting more out of life instead of wasting time being indecisive. You’ll learn how the actual decision isn’t always that important but the speed of making things happen is.
3) In leadership, the first step is to know what you want and where to go. The second step is actually going in the direction you want regardless of what others think and what other people are doing. How can you practice this?
Next time you are in a group or people or with friends and you want to do something e.g check out a store or dancing when no one else wants to. Don’t say anything and just do it. Don’t even look back. If they don’t follow them become comfortable with the uneasiness that comes with straying from the group. Learn to lead yourself.
Apply the reverse as well if people are telling you to do something that you really do not want to do then don’t. Leaders don’t conform to peer pressure.
4) Plan everything on a date or when you meet up with someone. Most people hate making decisions so if you’re someone that can, your adding value to their lives. Just by doing this you will seem more capable. We all admire people that handle difficult situations.
Take the lead when you’re dating, a man that is uncertain is unattractive. I guarantee she will appreciate it. It will make her feel protected and cared for. She can then relax and be feminine, surrounded by your masculine presence.
5) Follow a strong leader. Have you met someone that leads supremely well? I definitely have. Those that have the traits of leadership in good balance. Maybe it’s your boss, a friend or someone that enjoys the same hobby as you.
Spend more time with that person and study them. How do they handle certain situations and start mimicking the good habits and actions they have. This is a powerful way to become a great leader quickly.
6) Start a meetup group. I just started a side project meet up group at a local tech hub for like-minded individuals to get some focused work done that may not be directly related to their career. It’s a great opportunity for me to lead and give value.
You can do this too in as a way of practising social leadership around something that you love or find useful.
You see leadership has nothing to do with job titles , rank, perceived level of success but your decisions.
We’ve been given conflicting advice through society which has made us more like boys than men. We have begun to play it too safe so that we don’t offend anyone.
Leading is a gift it allows you to direct and create things. The more I lead things the more enjoyable it has become for me. I didn’t used to lead anything. I used to see it as effort but I would always notice a natural leader in the groups I was around. They would make things happen, organise things and get much more done out of life.
You can too. This is a word to all men out there to start practising the art of leadership wherever you can.
I hope you found some value in this post. If you did please share / leave a comment with your thoughts below!