Leaders do not follow the crowd and give up their values for the recognition of others. They keep their mission clear, shed humility, bring others with them, and never settle for mediocrity. Leaders are always growing and learning every single day. They do not conform to what society has told them they should be. They simply do not follow the crowd.
For myself, I was in a tough position during my junior year at Clemson University when I fell in with a bad crowd. I had to do a complete change on myself because I did not like the path I was on. Leaders do not blame others for their problems and point the finger at ones who might have harmed them. They take their power back by accepting full responsibility for where they are in life. In your darkest moments, you find out what you are truly made out of.
The five habits I have outlined of leaders are:
Leaders are not looking to seek recognition for their work. They do not care about the opinions of others and try to validate themselves. Instead, they remain humble and let their results do the talking. As former navy seal, Jocko Willink says, “Good leaders don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to get things done.” When things go wrong they do not look elsewhere to blame. They are not full of pride but instead praise others for their work. No matter how much they achieve they do not feel they are superior among anyone else. They set the example for the rest of the group and rise above the occasion.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” –Winston Churchill
Courage is the muscle that is sharpened daily from an effective leader. They look fear right in the eye and act upon it no matter what. A true leader is one who perseveres when the times get tough and hold the line. They develop the courage to face anything that comes their way. They rise above the noise and give others hope to succeed.
A courageous leader thrives on adversity because it is a test for them. They love the battle as it forces them to step up their game and show their true strength. They are able to prove truly who they are in moments of trial.
A follower joins in with the crowd, settles for mediocrity, and criticizes others while never looking at themselves. This is what is called a coward. They follow the path of least resistance rather than gain the courage to push forward despite the obstacles in the way.
Leaders reveal how courageous they truly are when their backs are up against the wall. They exercise courage on a daily basis like a muscle being used at the gym.
Every leader has a burning desire for success. They are HUNGRY to get ahead and never looking to settle. They are always competing with themselves to be better than who they were yesterday. Leaders do not compare themselves to other people and try to chop others down. Their extreme passion rubs off on others. Real leaders do not things that they are not passionate about. Whatever they do, they perform above the 100% mark. They get back up each day and give it everything they’ve got. Motivational speaker, Les Brown said it best, “The people that want to step into their greatness are hungry.” The hunger inside of them burns each and every day in their pursuit to the top.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”-E.E. Cummings
Authenticity is hard to find in today’s society with people wearing different masks to cover up their true selves. They are afraid of being who they truly are so they can fit in! Fitting in is not a part of a true leader. No matter what situation they are in the leader remains the same individual. They do not change their colors.
Leaders walk the talk. They do exactly what they are going to do. They do not say something then change their belief system. A leader reveals himself through their actions and not by talking. Their followers follow because of the way they act.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” –Michael Jordan
Teamwork is all a part of the game and a leader is well aware in order to achieve a high amount of success they need to have a great team around them. Nothing great is ever done alone. It is always done working with other hungry individuals. Being able to collaborate and keep the leader’s vision at the forefront is a necessary commodity. A leader works well in teams and is able to inspire others through challenging times. They lift others up with them and give them the hope they need to succeed.
Shaping your leadership skills
These are all great habits and skills to start incorporating into your daily practice. You do not have to try to tackle all of them at once. Stick to one at a time then move on to the next. Be fearless and do not quit. Remember you never know who you are truly inspiring. A great leader sharpens their skills daily, and the more repetitions you do the better you will get.