You don’t need to be a CEO to have a leadership mindset. Honing your leadership skills can be just as useful — if not more so — in daily life. Applying these skills during your daily routines in your everyday life can help you become more confident, more assertive, and even happier with your circumstances.
A true leader sees what needs to be done and does it. If the trash needs to be taken out, don’t wait for someone else to do it for you — do it yourself. If an elderly person needs help carrying bags at the grocery store, be the first to offer. Always do above and beyond of what anyone would expect of you, and never do it for praise or recognition. People who take initiative attract a different brand of validation.
It’s good to do it yourself, but it’s better to maximize your valuable time through delegation. Learning how to delegate is often one of the most difficult attributes a true leader must acquire, because it means trusting in the abilities of others. Delegation is essential in the success of any operation, including family and social life. Practice on your friends, children, spouse, and/or co-workers. And in case you’re worried, it’s not about taking advantage of others; delegation is about using others’ strengths to build a greater whole. Done correctly, the people you rely on will appreciate the trust. However, delegating effectively takes practice, tact, and a solid understanding of the people around you.
A strong leader will often take on the responsibility for his/her subordinates’ actions. If one person on the team fails, the leader fails too — throwing blame is not allowed here. If you are on a team (sports, family, work, etc.), take responsibility when the team doesn’t meet standards, especially if you were not at fault. Not only will your teammates look up to you and respect you; they will also be more motivated to take responsibility for their own actions and become a greater strength for the team.
Becoming a leader requires constant education. Read biographies and autobiographies of famous industrial, religious, sports, and political figures. Absorb their words of advice and wisdom, and discover how they dealt with crises and challenges throughout their lifetimes. No matter what field you are in or intend on pursuing, make a point to continue the learning process every day. Take seminars, attend conferences, continue reading pertinent materials, and associate yourself with other individuals with like-minded goals. Join clubs and societies in your chosen career, and choose a mentor who can help you on your way.
Learn From Mistakes
Mistakes are a daily reality. What separates a poor leader from an exceptional one is that they learn from their mistakes, no matter how many may have been made. No one is born so supremely naturally gifted that they don’t make mistakes — even the best doctors have to start somewhere, which is why we train them in an environment where they can make those mistakes safely. Not only should you learn from your mistakes; you should also encourage those around you when they struggle so they can do the same.
One very effective manner of practicing leadership skills is to volunteer in a leadership capacity. Coach a youth sports league, take a group on a mission trip, or even start your own charitable project. This will give you an opportunity to exercise and strengthen your skills as you organize, train, maintain, and develop a team for a successful outcome. Keep notes on what works and what doesn’t. Learn how to speak to team members in a tactful and building manner. You’ll find that you come out of the experience a stronger person.