What It Means to Be a Leader
Are you a leader or a follower?
Not everybody can be the leader of a country, business, or project, but all of us can take leadership roles in the aspects of our lives that matter to us the most. Leadership is important because each of our voices, big or small, counts. When we learn to step into a leadership role of any size, we represent not only our own interests, but also all of those who share our concerns. That’s why it’s vital for us to understand what leadership really means. Leadership has a real-world significance for all of us, and the better we understand it, the more empowered we will be.
Leadership means having a vision.
Look at any leader in politics, business, or culture. What is the one thing they have in common? They don’t accept the status quo. Leaders see the world not as it is, but as it could be, as they work to improve their circumstances.
Leadership means taking risks.
You don’t have to be the boldest, bravest person in the room to be a leader, but you do need to know when to take risks. Leaders are leaders because they don’t go about business the same way as the others, which can mean taking great risks, but also the possibility of great rewards.
Leadership means working together.
Leaders do not exist in a vacuum; they reach a position of leadership only through the help and dedication of others. To become a leader, people need to have faith in you, which means learning how to empathize, sympathize, and listen.
In the end, leadership means following your brain as well as your heart. When you learn to use all of your resources — intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and otherwise — the path of leadership becomes clear to you. It’s your decision whether you’ll be blazing the trail or following the route that’s already been cleared for you.