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Unleashing the Leader within

Guest Author: Lisa Christiansen

Leaders are made, not born, and leadership styles vary widely. How one leads depends upon personal skills and the commitment to use them. Competency in leadership comes with opportunity and practice.


One common denominator among leaders is good communication, but leaders don’t necessarily communicate in the same way. Communication is a two-part phenomenon, encompassing both sending and receiving information. Good communicators can be good speakers, good writers, good partners, good actors, or good listeners. Assess your communication skills and commit to improving them.

Optimize Your Personal Strengths

Unless you develop and leverage your personal skills, you risk lagging behind in your career. You can be a leader among your peers, without having a formal leadership position. Leadership positions are filled by selecting individuals who demonstrate leadership in their interpersonal relationships. Leaders are not the loudest in the workplace but they excel at having honed their active listening skills. Giving an individual undivided attention and making them feel valued is a component of leadership. Use listening skills to develop strong relationships with team members, colleagues, and supervisors.


Identify your strengths and the leadership style that fits your personal skill set. All leadership skills can be learned, improved, and optimized. Look for opportunities to use and improve the skills you have and to pursue mastery of the ones you do not.


Set Audacious Long-Term Goals

One primary trait all successful leaders have is that they share their vision. You may not come off as a confident person to others, but, as Summit Leadership Partners notes, you might have a unique ability to see the big picture and to thoroughly analyze and execute tasks. These traits provide an excellent foundation to establish a clear path toward meaningful and challenging goals for you and your team.

Developing audacious goals not only will keep you motivated but also inspire and entice others to follow. In other words, you can take your career, and organization as a whole, to new heights. Just remember to define the obstacles in front of you, devise strategies for achieving the goal and develop a plan for measuring success.


Continue Your Education

Nothing will help you to perform like a boss more than knowing the subject matter well. To that end, research topics pertinent to your subject matter so you can write with authority. Most leaders are lifetime learners, and their educational credentials are also a distinguishing characteristic.


Start a Side Hustle to Build Confidence

Perhaps to nobody's surprise, introverts shy away from the spotlight. But being a leader requires you to stand out. Starting a side hustle or taking up a personal project that highlights your passions is a fantastic way to step out of your comfort zone. The side hustle can help you hone the skill set and experience necessary to become confident in speaking out and leading.

Set Up a Stress-Free Creative Space

Consider making a space to regroup when you need a moment. Everyone benefits from quiet time to refresh their mind and energy. Choose a peaceful area with personal elements, like a favorite photo and an easy-care houseplant. Hoyas are a nice choice as they are valued for their attractive, wax-like flowers and easy care, making them ideal for indoor environments.


Listen to Your Team Members

Give each member of your team individual attention and listen thoughtfully to their feedback, ideas, and concerns. Kinkead of bonusly suggests making your support network feel valued by giving them credit and recognition for their contributions. And use your gift of attention to recognize their talents, strengths, and weaknesses so that you can inspire them to pursue their own success.

The Bottom Line

Anyone who desires can become a leader by taking advantage of their strengths and developing their skills fully. By establishing ambitious goals, starting a business, and listening to your team, you can unlock your potential and become unstoppable in the workplace! Don’t expect the transition to be easy. But you can become an extraordinary leader with time and practice. Take heart in knowing that you possess unique skills that set you apart as a leader. You just have to nurture your unique skills to unleash the leader within you.


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