Think about Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, and Napoleon. What do these characters have in common? One of them was a statesman and military leader, two fought for social justice, and two of them were businesspeople. But the one thing they had in common was great leadership skill.
These were not your ordinary leaders. People stood behind them. Many followers believed in their principles and supported their viewpoints. Just look at Wikipedia’s list of most influential people in history and you’ll notice the same thing: they were all great leaders.
Even a small business owner strives to achieve such an effect: they want to be a leader that people follow. Even if you don’t own any kind of business, but you’re a student or an employee in any industry, you could use some leadership skills.
But we’re not talking about authoritative leadership here. We’re talking about inspiring people to follow you. Let’s see how you become such an inspiring leader.
Well if we take a good look at the leaders we mentioned at the beginning of this article, here’s the first thing that comes to mind: “But Napoleon wasn’t humble!”
No; Napoleon was definitely not humble. He was a great leader at the time, but with that attitude, he wouldn’t succeed in today’s circumstances. Today, all individuals know what they believe in. They don’t’ want authority. They want an example.
A humble leader is the one who knows they can only succeed with their goals if they have support from others. They know they depend on other people and they don’t consider them to be their “followers.” A great leader is humble enough to recognize the greatness in each person.
Work on Your Conflict Resolution Attitude
Even if the leader is perfect, the surroundings won’t be. Conflict will arise whether you want it or not.
As an example, let’s look at Mahatma Gandhi. He was one of the most exemplary leaders the world has ever seen. Conflict resolution strategies were his greatest strength. He took a stand and he was extremely persistent in achieving it. But he didn’t do it by forcing his point of view on the opposing side. He did it by staying strong and persistent.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to be a better business or political leader. Your ability to deal with conflict is crucial, since you’ll inevitably face conflict somewhere along the way.
The most notable leaders either write or say things that are so impressive that someone else writes and shares them with the world.
Today, it’s really easy to start writing. A blog may be your first step. Hey; even Richard Branson has a blog, and we know he’s a busy man. So lack of time cannot be your excuse. When you get enough practice and you’re ready for a greater challenge, you’ll publish your book.
You can’t write?
It’s okay. You can always start practicing and get better at it. You may even collaborate with professional writers. Marion Grant, a writer and editor for a cheap paper writing service, explains: “Throughout my career as a writer and editor, I’ve helped many people start blogs and make them really popular. Many of them had great experience, skills and knowledge, but didn’t know how to convey them through proper writing. My team of writers helped them achieve such a goal. It’s possible!”
Start working on your writing skills! A great blog or/and a book will convince people of your expertise. When they start reading your words on a regular basis, they show they want to follow you.
Invest in the Future of Your Followers
This is especially important for business leaders and team leaders of any kind. You shouldn’t approach leadership thinking you’ll be on that position forever. You might leave the team one day. When such a thing happens, your followership shouldn’t disintegrate. They must understand that they are not following you as a leader, but the principles you all stand for.
Apple didn’t fail after Steve Jobs. That’s because this leader invested in the future of his company and his team.
Develop a strong organization. Help everyone in it expand their potential. Do your best to offer effective mentorship. A great leader is the one who makes people grow.
Hold Yourself Accountable
When something goes wrong, you should never blame the team for the failure. Even if someone didn’t do their part of the job well, it was because you didn’t control them and didn’t ask for timely feedback. It was because you made a wrong hiring decision.
Never take your frustrations out on your team. Hold yourself accountable for the success or failure of your projects. That’s the kind of leadership ideal that people want to stand for.
It’s All about Personal Growth
Even when you achieve the status of a leader, you shouldn’t stop working on your personal growth. Growth isn’t measured in millions of dollars. It’s not measured by the sales your company achieves. We’re talking about personal growth, which is measured by the level of grace and awesomeness you reach as a person.
Commitment, kindness, social awareness and supportive attitude – these are the things that make a good leader great. Those are the aspects that separate a leader from the usual boss that everyone has. Those are the things that inspire people to follow someone.
How do you grow? Read, explore the world, and simply be a good person. Always listen to your people and learn from them!
At one point in his career, Steve Jobs failed. He had to leave Apple and he was devastated about it. But this failure was not the ending point. It was actually the start of something great. By the time he returned to the company, he had reinvented his leadership style.
Jobs understood where he failed; it was perfectionism that stood on his way to progress. He went from asking for consistent feedback to empowering his employees to create. That’s how a true leader was born.
If your projects don’t go as well as you expect, you have to ask yourself what you’re doing wrong. Don’t take and hold a firm approach to leadership. When you face failure, it’s time to reinvent your leadership style.
It may be a simple email that confirms important business collaboration. It may be a significant growth in the sales department. It may be the completion of a project. Maybe you’re just starting a new project.
Whatever the good occasion is, celebrate it! Order cake and coffee and get your people together. A simple gesture and cozy team gathering proves you honor what everyone is doing. It shows you don’t see yourself as a boss, but as part of the team and you want to share the good moment with them.
Over to You
Are you a good leader? The truth is; no one can say that about themselves. Gandhi didn’t say “I’m a great leader!” The followership did that. What Gandhi did was persistence, personal growth, and kindness. Those are the aspects to focus on.