Some of us want nothing to do with having more responsibilities in life. And that’s okay! But for those of us who have a burning passion to be the inspiration in other people’s lives will see their own life change before their very eyes, even if we find ourselves occasionally at wit’s ends.
Being a leader is a burdensome role that doesn’t get talked about much by the very people in these positions. It is a tacit rule not to show vulnerability to the crowd because it risks diminishing one’s reputability and, in effect, their credibility. After all, your voice matters! Anything you say is received differently depending on each individual; your reputation within a group or society, past accomplishments, knowledge in a subject area, even what you post on your social media all play a role in how others perceive you as a person worth listening to.
Let’s take a closer look at what a good leader does:
Share background experiences
Be careful with this one. This is a purposeful approach that acts as a double-edged sword if not properly wielded. Only selective details and experiences are shared to bring about a certain effect, otherwise, you risk tarnishing the credibility in your words.
If you talk about your past struggles, keep in mind how it will benefit others. Ask yourself if it will help that one person suffering from depression feel reassured seeing a face-to-face individual who found success in their own struggle with the illness? Or perhaps you are a popular figure in society, but before stardom, you were a nobody and faced many struggles before you reached success. One thing is for sure: whatever the story is, it needs to showcase your abilities to overcome some kind of struggle.
Nobody wants to fight a battle alone, so we look to people whose past closely reflects our present as a source of inspiration. Alexander the Great, who commanded over 40,000+ troops, is a prime example of history’s most influential beings to ever exist. His godlike talents as a general allowed him to win every battle ever waged and conquer several empires. Like Alexander, a truly inspiring leader is one that can overcome the most difficult of life struggles even when the odds are stacked against them. But a leader who still fights the same battle today is not regarded any more successful than the average Joe.
Strive to be above average
This is a no brainer, but naturally, we burn out, and we refuse to show any fatigue! But that is one responsibility that cannot be avoided. If you show a sense of unwillingness to take up a task, others may consider you lazy, weak, average, or anything but exceptional. On the contrary, whether it’s being the person who constantly carries the team through projects, or always covers other coworker shifts, or whatever, you will be perceived as a supercharged powerhouse! And nobody would be foolish enough to try and change that kind of attitude. But at the end of the day, your hard work will mean very little to anyone if you cannot respectively display amazing results.
Host celebratory events
If you’re not going to smile, laugh, joke around and show your charismatic side, you are not going to make anyone happy; nobody wants to be around people who are serious all the time. You will often find that the leaders who rise to power and keep this quiet, unfriendly, and non-communicative attitude are tyrannical. Everything must be controlled their way, with no leniency in their decision-making.
You can instead show people you dominate both work and the social life. Everyone enjoys having fun, but not everyone knows how to have fun. So it’s your responsibility to show them just that: host a potluck, a surprise birthday, a going away party. Anything that shows people you care about the welfare of others, their contributions in your life, and that they can have fun with you.
Always pursue knowledge
I won’t begin to even explain the myriad of reasons why everyone should already be doing this; I would rather dedicate a book if I wanted to try and do it justice, but I will instead stress its significance in leadership.
Everyone has to start somewhere before finding themselves more adept in a skill or knowledgeable about something than the common folk. You know the shoulder devil you see in cartoons? Yeah, that guy. Whenever a friend or colleague in my circle attempts to share advice or a piece of information around a subject I consider myself well-versed in, I feel the sharp points of the pitchfork gently nudging into my spongey brain (maybe that’s how it became sponge-like in the first place). Our proud minds have no choice than to welcome the challenge indirectly instigated by the other person. We must search within the recesses of our minds to revisit what we have accumulated in knowledge over the past number of years to showcase our dominating knowledge in the subject matter. Who wants a naïve leader to give poor advice and make poor decisions? Not me, thanks.
Let me know what you think it takes to be a leader in the comments below!