According to Wikipedia the definition of a leader is the process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. But, how do you get leadership skills if you have never been in a leadership position?
First look internally- is there a project within your company you can spearhead? Even if you are a sole owner with no employees, is there something you have been putting off that if accomplished would positively affect the business? Take on that project, set some goals for what you want to achieve, the action items to achieve those goals and the timelines associated with them. Then, go out and enlist others to help you achieve the project, others could be family, friends, business associates and even clients. Share your ideas, your goals, your action items and timelines and ask for their guidance, support and help to achieve them. Finally give each person willing to help an action item to complete with a deadline. Offer up any help or support they need and do this during the whole project. Handle any obstacles that may come up and keep the communication lines open. This is leadership!
This process is also applicable to any organizations or groups you belong to whether they are personal or professional. If it is a church group, a book or garden club, come up with an initiative and start the process. Even in your professional organizations you don’t have to be named the leader to be a leader!
Finally here are some of the things you are going to learn through this process:
- How to work with many different personalities
- How to communicate to different styles
- The inner-workings of human behavior
- How to persuade others
- How to set goals, develop plans and execute
- How to plan and overcome obstacles
- How to give and take constructive criticism
- How to get people to go farther than they thought they could
- Your blind spots and potential weaknesses
- Your strengths, talents, skills and value you bring to the table