Posted 19 February 2016 by Chris Farmer
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How to be a Better Leader
You want to develop better leadership skills. But how could you do that?
You can start by defining the purpose of a leader, and then figure out what qualities would be needed to achieve that purpose.
What is the purpose of a leader?
The purpose of a leader is to achieve a goal by inspiring the best performance from the rest of the team. In order to be a good leader you must be able to get the best performance from others. And you would probably agree, before you can get the best performance from others, you must first be able to get the best performance from yourself.
How can you get the best performance from yourself?
Develop your skills. If you will develop your skills as you get older, then you are in with a good chance. If you won't develop your skills as you get older, then you don't have a chance.
What skills should you develop?
There are three major categories of skills that all leaders develop to the max.
- Skills of clarity,
- Skills of rationality, (logic) and;
- Skills relating to inspiring positive emotion.
So to be a better leader:
- Be clear.
- Be rational.
- Be positive.
This is the mantra to remember: Be clear. Be rational. Be positive.
It is a nice catch phrase, but it is a bit abstract. Let us look at each of these three and see what they mean in more detail.
1. Be clear
Primarily this means be clear in terms of the goal. Why? Because Leaders lead people towards a specific goal.
Leaders think incessantly about goals. That is what makes them leaders. Leaders are "goal focused individuals".
Non-leaders never think about their goals. They think about their fears.
If you want to be a good leader, set your Smart targets and communicate them to all who need to know.
"Be clear" also means in terms of your communication.
All great leaders are great communicators. That means the ability to transfer the content of your mind into the minds of others. With no error. With no confusion. With complete understanding and accuracy. Leaders train themselves to become master communicators.
Think of all the great leaders, and you will notice that most of them are also great communicators. That is not a mere coincidence. It is cause and effect. Great leadership means great communication, and vice versa.
If you want to be a better leader, develop your communication skills.
2. Be rational
Means treat all people and all problems, according to the principles of Reason. Treat everyone reasonably. If you don't treat people reasonably then, you will be treating them unreasonably. And nobody will, for very long, follow a person who treats them unreasonably.
Rational also means, logically. That means that your thinking should be founded on fact, not opinion. Your thinking should be organized, sequential, systematized, defined, numerical, clear and distinct. Logical thinking centres on looking for chains of "cause and effects". Logical thinkers ask: What is the cause of this? What would be the probable effects of that? This is the role of the intellect, in leadership.
Leaders are usually bright people. Not many leaders are stupid. They may be evil; but they are not stupid. In fact, a very intelligent but evil person is a major threat. (Example: Adolf Hitler).
If you would be a better leader, learn to think logically and treat people reasonably.
3. Be Positive
Within reason, be as positive as the situation allows. Be cautious of coming across as being too:
You need to develop the art of coming across to the others as:
- Future orientated.
- Confident that the future will be better than the past.
- Enthusiastic about the goal you set above.
- Committed to the achievement of the goal.
- Confident that you have the skill and logical abilities to solve any problem that will crop up along the way.
Leaders are positive people. They share that character trait. They all think the future will be what they want it to be. They all believe that they can affect the future.
If you want to be a better leader, practice talking about the future in optimistic terms.
Stop yourself talking too much about the bad things that have happened, or the bad things that might happen, and start talking about what you want to happen, and how we can make it happen.
This is the essence of leadership skills training.
To be a better leader,
- Be clear.
- Be rational.
- Be positive.