Leadership is not a natural act for most people, or so they think. There are leadership qualities deep down inside each and every one of us, though, that are just waiting for the right circumstances, motivation and opportunity to come to the surface.
The hardest way to try to develop your own leadership is to do it on your own. Leadership by its very nature requires the presence of others who will make decisions on whether or not to grant you the authority to direct their actions or inspire them in certain directions. So it’s necessary for you to define your leadership inside a social human context.
Therefore, a good place to start is a social situation in which you are already familiar with the people involved and where you can learn to try on a new role. It’s a good idea to enlist their aid and share with them your desire to improve your leadership. This could mean volunteering for committees or groups or to take the lead on a particular project.
If you select something that’s already within your skill set or where you have some expertise it will be that much easier for you to stretch in the area of leadership area
It’s a good idea to make your goals known to someone else whose opinion, insights and judgment you can trust. This person can act as a sort of peer mentor for you and give you the valuable feedback that you need to develop your leadership skills.
It’s always a good idea to maintain a journal and especially for leadership. You will want to record your experiences in as much detail as you can, which includes your thoughts and feelings and those of others whom you’ve selected to give you feedback. The reflective learning potential of a journal ensures you get the maximum benefit from your leadership practice.
A book or two on leadership is not a bad idea, but you want to be careful that you don’t over do the theoretical aspects of leadership. There are as many different offered ways as there are authors and it’s more important that you have an authentic experience coming from your own values than it is to adopt the practices of others. Leaders who are not authentic are most certain to fail.
Good luck with your leadership practice!
By Alexis Dean