Many people want to be a leader, few are really fit to be one. Personally I believe that leadership is more like a life-long process of learning instead of a static state of being. Leaders come in many shapes and forms, but here are some signs that you could be a true leader (or you are walking the right path):
You lead with a bigger purpose
Your purpose is bigger than just a promotion, a salary raise or praise from other people. It is a purpose that affects many people in your environment. Every decision flows from and to this purpose.
You give credit where it’s due
A leader gives credit where it’s due and 99% of the time it is all due to the team you are working with. A leader recognizes that results don’t come because of him or her alone, but because of a collective effort to achieve a certain goal.
You share information freely
Transparency is key to leadership (in the context of team). A leader shares information with the intent to be as transparent as possible towards his team to make sure mutual trust is established.
You are accountable
And this is the double standard, when things go well, a leader will always credit his team, but when things go wrong, a leader will always say that it is his or her fault. You have to be able to put the needs of others above your own. Many feel that if you are a leader, all you do is command people, but most of the time you serve.
You inspire others to change
You inspire other people to change their life in accordance to the values you often push out into the world. This is where the distinction between leadership and management becomes extremely clear, the manager will not inspire you to change, but will command it. The leader will make you feel as though you should change because the change will make you a better person in general.
You have vision
As Simon Sinek stated in his book “Start With Why”: “Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it”. Leaders envision a world that does not yet exist and communicate it daily with people to inspire them to join the cause to make this world a reality. It is the ability to make people feel that they are part of a shared purpose, a collective goal.
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