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  • Writer's pictureDr. Charles Simmons Jr.

Awaken the Leader in YOU!

10 Easy Steps to Awaken The Leader In You & Become Sharp...LeaderSharp!

"The miracle power that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance, under the promptings of a brave determined spirit." - Mark Twain

Being an effective leader requires you to be brave and Dream BIG! To not be afraid to go into that inner attic, where your childhood dreams lie and maybe even die, and rekindle your passion for greatness.

Here's 10 easy steps/thoughts to help you do so!

1. Humility.

"Leadership starts with humility."

To be a highly successful leader, you must first humble yourself like a little child and be willing to serve others. Nobody wants to follow someone who is arrogant. Be humble as a child, always curious, always hungry and thirsty for knowledge. For what is excellence but knowledge, plus knowledge, plus knowledge - always wanting to better yourself, always improving, and always growing. When you are humble, you become genuinely interested in people because you want to learn from them. And because you want to learn and grow, you will be a far more effective listener, which is the #1 leadership communication tool. When people sense you are genuinely interested in them, and listening to them, they will naturally be interested in you and listen to what you have to say.

2. SWOT Yourself.

SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Although it's a strategic management tool taught at Stanford and Harvard Business Schools and used by large multinationals, it can just as effectively be used in your own professional and/or personal development as a leader. This is a useful key to gain access to self-knowledge, self-remembering, and self-honoring. Start by listing all your Strengths including your accomplishments. Then write down all your Weaknesses and what needs to be improved. Make sure to include any doubts, anxieties, fears, and worries that you may have. You cannot slay what you will not face! Then proceed by listing all the Opportunities you see available to you for using your strengths. Finally, write down all the Threats or obstacles that are currently blocking you or that you think you will encounter along the way to achieving your dreams.

"You cannot slay what you will not face!"

3. Follow Your Bliss.

Regardless of how busy you are, always take time to do what you love doing. Being an alive and vital person vitalizes others. When you are pursuing your passions, people around you cannot help but feel impassioned by your presence. This will make you a charismatic leader. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, be it writing, acting, painting, drawing, photography, sports, reading, dancing, networking, or working on entrepreneurial ventures, set aside time every week, ideally two or three hours a day, to pursue these activities. Believe me, you'll find the time.(Make sure to subscribe so that you won't miss my upcoming resource on time-management). If you were to video tape yourself for a day, you would be shocked to see how much time goes to waste!

4. Dream BIG!

If you want to be larger than life, you need a dream that's larger than life. Small dreams won't serve you or anyone else. It takes the same amount of time to dream small that it does to dream big. So Dream Big and be Bold! Write down your One Biggest Dream. The one that excites you the most. Remember, don't be small and realistic; be bold and unrealistic! Go for the Gold, the Pulitzer, the Nobel, the Oscar, the highest you can possibly achieve in your field. After you've written down your dream, list every single reason why you CAN achieve your dream instead of worrying about why you can't.

5. Leader Need Vision.

Without a vision, we perish. If you can't see yourself winning that award and feel the tears of triumph streaming down your face, it's unlikely you won't be able to lead yourself or others to victory. Visualize what it would be like accomplishing your dream. See it, smell it, taste it, hear it, feel it in your gut. Then go for it!

6. Perseverance.

Victory belongs to those who want it the most and stay in it the longest. Now that you have a dream, make sure you take consistent action every day. I recommend doing at least 3-5 things every day that will move you closer to your dream.

"Victory belongs to those who want it the most and stay in it the longest."

7. Honor Your Word.

Every time you break your word, you lose influence and you lose power. Successful leaders keep their word and their promises as best as they can. You can accumulate all the toys and riches in the world, but you only have one reputation in life. Your word is gold. Honor it!

8. Maximize Mentorship.

Find yourself a mentor, preferably someone who has already achieved a high degree of success in your field. Remember! Don't be afraid to ask. You've got nothing to lose. In addition to mentors, take time to study autobiographies of great leaders that you admire. Learn everything you can from their lives and model some of their successful behaviors.

9. Be Yourself.

Use your relationships with mentors and your research on great leaders as models or reference points to work from, but never copy or imitate them like a parrot. Everyone has vastly different leadership styles. History books are filled with leaders who are soft-spoken, introverted, and quiet, all the way to the other extreme of being out- spoken, extroverted, and loud, and everything in between. A quiet and simple Gandhi or a soft-spoken peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter, who became president of the United States and won a Nobel Peace Prize, have been just as effective world leaders as a loud and flamboyant Churchill, or the tough leadership style employed by The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, or the charismatic style of a Barack Obama. Be yourself, your best self, always competing against yourself and bettering yourself. As you do this, you will become a first rate YOU instead of a second rate somebody else.

"Become a first rate YOU instead of a second rate somebody else!"

10. Give.

Finally, be a giver. Leaders are givers. By giving, you activate the law of reciprocity. Life gives to the giver, and takes from the taker. The more you give, the more you get. If you want more love, respect, support, and compassion, then give love, give respect, give support, and give compassion. Be a mentor to others and give back to your community. As a leader, the only way to get what you want, is by helping enough people get what they want first. As Sir Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."

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