Personal Development: Leadership as a Lifestyle
Leadership skills are not only for your workplace, but should be used in all areas of your life. In your role at work, as a spouse, a mom, however challenging they may be, your exposure to them helps create the leader in you. Embracing those areas of your life where you have a leadership role helps youto lead better. Living a leadership lifestyle will set you apart from others as someone who is in charge, capable and intently driven. It puts you in a place where others watch what you do, look to you for direction and notice if your actions are in line with your beliefs.
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Being intentional and focus, which are, by the way, valuable traits of a leader, will not only clarify goals for those around, but inspire those you are directing, to tune into your vision... illuminating your influence. A lifestyle of leadership in your own home alone can teach your child how his or her contributions; such as doing chores, contributing to family meetings, and participating in family activities, fit into the big picture and can lead to a lifetime of success. There are a few simple but important rules to follow when applying leadership skills as a lifestyle, at work and in life.
- Walk the walk. You give your words real meaning when you act on them yourself. When you act out the concepts you say you believe in, whether at work, home, volunteering or wherever, you show that something is true through your actions. Not only are your employees watching you, but your family is also; your kids and your spouse. Always keep the phrase, "actions speak louder than words", close to you. A lifestyle leader, who believes in and lives by the principles he or she defends, will inspire results.
- Focus on one simple concept or goal. While your company, family or group may have more than just one goal, focusing on one in particular will put everyone involved in the same mindset. Naming a single goal likely will actually answer a lot of questions about specific scenarios. By singling in on one goal at a time you won't have too much going on and it keeps motivation in check. Having to much going on often leads to you splitting your focus and nothing getting done. A leader will eliminate the picking and choosing of projects, trading difficult responsibilities for easier ones or skipping out on chores at home. Formulating one clear, result-oriented goal that could be achieved in a specific time, is the best way to get results, whether with subordinates at work or in your home with family.
- Power up your communication skills. Have open communications with everyone. Open communications encourage you to own up and be forthright with your opinions and perspectives. By being open with everyone you communicate with, you eliminate the fear and shyness of others by encouraging them to speak their minds. What's important about applying leadership in your communication, is that you're approachable, which is a basic attribute of a leader. Everyone in your group needs to know they can talk to you about anything, whatever obstacles, big or small, they are facing, their opinions or questions.
- Send praises up and out. Always let the others know when they are doing what you want them to do. Use this at work when your employee completes a project early or on time and at home when your kids complete their chores or participate in family activities. "When praises go up, blessing come down", is an old and familiar saying in churches, which generally means when you, whether you're an employer, a mom, spouse, neighbor, or manager, and rely on others for completion of things, sending out praises foster obedience and personal accountability in your employee or child. And on the other hand, if they are not performing up to par, use encouragement instead of discipline. Be compassionate and ask if there is something bothering them and always let them know you appreciate their efforts. This will not only build your influence as a leader, but will promote self-esteem in all involved which will prove beneficial in their journey as leaders.
Embrace your leadership skills and apply them to all areas of your life.... if its successful for your work environment, then it will work for your home, family, community and that's how you grow more and more into a leader over the years. As a leader, those you encounter want to know that they matter to you and that they are making a difference in big and small ways. They want you to see and acknowledge who they are. Don't turn off your leadership abilities once you leave work, live a lifestyle of leadership... it's the most powerful motivator of all!