This post was adopted from Reliv International.
by Reliv Ambassador Mair Hill
Mair Hill ran her own multimillion-dollar sales agency for 17 years and has since studied fundraising and nutrition. She is a professional speaker, life coach, author and blogger. Mair recently published her first book, A GOOD PLAN: Ten Simple Steps to Make Healthy Choices a Habit. She is proudest of her roles as mum to three amazing boys and wife of 31 years. www.mairhill.com
Anyone can be a leader. We lead every day whether we’re aware of it or not. You lead a child across the street. You lead a discussion at work, at school or at the dinner table. You lead a healthy life. The qualities of a great leader are the same qualities that make a great human being. Honing your leadership skills requires desire, awareness and practicing the attributes listed here. Whether your goal is to lead a few people or thousands, this is a great place to start!
1. Leaders Practice Kindness. There’s never a reason to be mean. Ever. Period. A true leader avoids gossip and treats everyone with the same respect whether talking with a waiter or the CEO of a Fortune 100 company.
2. Leaders Listen. We are equipped with two ears and one mouth; a good reminder to listen twice as much as we speak. To listen effectively is to be fully present, rather than ten steps ahead, planning what you will say next. The most effective leaders listen so intently that the person speaking feels like he or she is the most important person in the world.
3. Leaders are Honest in All Things. Be honest not only with others, but also with yourself. Authenticity is important as a leader. Your reputation is built on a foundation of integrity and will crumble quickly without it.
4. Leaders Keep Their Word. Do what you say you are going to do. A leader sees the big picture and doesn’t make promises he or she can’t keep. If you promise more than you can deliver, be the first one to admit your mistake and offer an alternative plan of action.
5. Leaders Exude Confidence. When you aim to live authentically with kindness and integrity, it’s easier to sit up a little straighter and stand a little taller. Confidence comes with taking decisive action for the highest good of all concerned.
6. Leaders Practice Humility. Leaders are smart enough to know what they don’t know. They aim to surround themselves with people who are even smarter than they are because they know that two minds are better than one.
7. Leaders Empower Others. A true leader fades to the background and lets others shine; not out of shyness, but in order to lift up others. Being around a true leader is a positive experience, because you feel encouraged to be your best self.
8. Leaders Know Communication is Key. Leaders are adept at communicating clearly and concisely and fostering an environment where asking questions is encouraged.
9. Leaders Offer Constructive Feedback. A leader is willing to offer feedback when necessary and believes that it is best to praise in public and criticize in private. A real leader never belittles or embarrasses others.
10. Leaders Walk the Talk. The most effective leader is one who leads with their own actions. John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” No matter your title or position, others will follow your example if it is a good one.
Some leaders are born, but the majority of us get there one skill and one follower at a time. Take time to consider what you admire about the leaders in your life and how you can implement these qualities in your own leadership.