When you think of a role model in your industry or your life, chances are high that person is a leader.
Leaders rarely are born leaders. Instead, they must learn how to lead.
You, too, can learn how to lead with these six tips for improving your leadership skills.
1. Set A Vision
When you travel to a place you’re unfamiliar with, you probably look up your destination using a navigation app. The app charts your path, getting you from point A to point B over a given time in a certain number of steps.
Setting a vision is similar. You determine a goal destination.
The difference is that, unlike a map, the twists and turns to your desired location have yet to be charted.
One way to set a vision is with a vision board.
Entertainer Ron Funches is a proponent of this concept, incorporating it into his comedy act. In a January 2018 tweet, he said a year ago that he had envisioned getting a home for his son and him. “This year’s vision board party was done in that home,” he said.
2. Join A Program That Progresses Your Leadership Skills
Consider whether a leadership development program is for you. Many universities and online providers have a number of programs designed to improve your skills.
If you decide that type of program is not for you, many other programs offer opportunities for leadership improvement.
Toastmasters, for example, is a global organization that helps you improve both communication and leadership skills. Speaking abilities improve with projects designed to help you persuade and entertain. Plus, the various functionary roles for each club help you understand what it’s like to run a meeting by ensuring presenters are prepared and audience members are engaged.
Volunteering comes up often as a way to develop leadership. Volunteer at a church, school, or a community event.
However, volunteering is about more than offering your time.
Volunteering means taking an active role in accepting new work. Lead the charge with a project no one else has time for at your business. Set an example by taking on a new challenge.
4. Learn How To Fail
Leaders are not immune to failure. In fact, many people succeed because they fail.
“All of us fail,” writes Seth Godin. “Successful people fail often, and, worth noting, learn more from that failure than everyone else.”
One such instance is Michael Jordan, considered one of the greatest basketball players in history.
"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life,” Jordan says. “And that is why I succeed."
5. Be A Good Teammate
While entire books have been written on being a good teammate, here are just a few tips.
Share credit when credit is due. You don’t have to have all the answers. Let others know when your teammates pulled through.
Ask for help. Expertise often translates to deep knowledge about one subject and not broad knowledge about many. Ask for help when you need help with areas outside your comfort zone.