The world is looking for strong visionary leaders. Will you be one of them?
You are not born a leader or appointed a leader; leadership is developed. To get there means stepping up to the next level. And leading at the next level involves these key elements:
Learn It – You cannot teach something that you haven’t learned yourself. To lead in any arena you have got to start at the ground floor and learn every aspect of the game.
Live It – Leaders eat, live, breathe and sleep their vision and mission. They wake up with it on their mind and go to sleep with it in their heart. It becomes part of who they are as a person.
Share It – Leaders teach what they learn. As soon as they learn it they share it with others, and it is a practice they repeat daily. If you aren’t sharing what you learned you aren’t a leader.
Guard It – Leadership is a mental game. Leaders guard their mind from negative thinking. I have never seen a negative leader. Jack Welch, the legendary former chairman of G.E., summed it up in saying, “Nothing of great significance has ever been achieved by a pessimist.”
Replace It – A leader’s job is not to find followers – it is to find other leaders. There will always be plenty of followers. You must keep your pipeline full of “A” players who have the potential to lead. The worse place you can be is irreplaceable because this means you can never grow to the next level.
Embrace It – The world is moving at the fastest pace in history. Leaders must embrace change because the game is constantly changing. Technology changes, marketing condition change and the consumer has never had access to more knowledge. Today’s leaders must be transparent, lay it out on the table and be willing to do whatever it takes to stay ahead of the game and get the job done.
Believe It – Leaders must believe in the vision wholeheartedly. Napoleon said, “Leaders are dealers in hope.” You must believe that the future is greater than the past and you must spread this belief to everyone you come in contact with.
Edify It – Leaders are encouragers who constantly build up others. You must be a person who has an encouraging heart and is sincere about this encouragement. People will work harder for praise and recognition than they will for money alone. You must also build up the mission behind the vision and the other leaders around you. If you are jealous of those above you it will show and those below you will be jealous of you. If you talk poorly about those above you, you can expect the same from those below you. You will reap what you sow.
Act It – This means you’ve got to take action. John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, become more … you are a leader.” Leaders don’t wait until they get a promotion to lead; they get a promotion because they are playing the part first. If you don’t know how, ask yourself: “What would I do if I were a leader?” Then act as if you are a leader and you will become it.
Mentor It – There are people who know more than you do. Accept it! You take a giant step in leadership when you recognize there are others that know more than you do. Listen to them and learn from them. If you are the smartest person in your group you need a new group.
You just received the magic formula, the secret recipe for leading at a higher level. Knowledge is only power when it is applied. Apply these steps to become a leader and you will be a key player in developing more leaders and in making the world a better place. Once again, the world is looking for strong visionary leaders. Will you be one of them?
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