Leadership is an Attitude. Not a Role or Title. Leadership starts with YOU.
Tip No 1 – Self Awareness
We spend so much time trying to be successful or climbing the ladder; when we should spend time getting to know who we are. Our strengths, passions, dreams, triggers, faults, styles and continuously learning about ourselves. This is where we can truly be a leader and build our brand. The more aware we are of ourselves, the more aware we are of others. This awareness is the birthplace of kindness, curiosity and compassion. We discover we are only human and it builds courage.
Tip No 2 – Believe in Yourself
We spend so much time trying to be competent at something to feel confident about ourselves. I get it. Sometimes we don’t put our hand up, go for opportunities or take risks as we want to feel 110% competent at it. Be confident, say yes, take risks, go for it – confidence and self belief will take you far. It’s okay if you only tick 7 out of the 10 boxes, you can do it, you will learn and you will make mistakes . Believe in yourself.
Tip No 3 – Be Compassionate
Why are we always so hard on ourselves? I remember when I was younger, I used to put so much pressure on myself. When I made the occasional stuff (maybe not so occasionally); I would beat myself up for days around it. We are all human and yes sometimes we forget this. Give yourself a break, love yourself completely as you deserve it, always learn from your stuff ups (best learnings come from this), and remember it will pass. Thing is; when you are compassionate to yourself, you are more aware and able to be compassionate towards others. Focus on empathy, kindness and gratitude always for yourself and for others.
Tip No 4 – Get a Coach or a Mentor (or both) – and find a Sponsor
Without a doubt the one area that has had greatest impact on my life and career are my Coaches and Mentors. Some of which have been formal and some informal. Think about this – all great sports people and executives have coaches. They have mentors. The people who are your trusted advisors; the ones you go to for guidance and advice. Some of these people are now my sponsors where they advocate on my behalf to put me out there. INVALUABLE! Do not be afraid to ask someone you admire and trust to be your mentor, coach or sponsor. Do it! Go for it
Tip No 5 – Be Humble
Humility as a Leader is critical. No matter what you are doing, where you are going, what you have and don’t have, where you are, what title you have, who you are; you are not more or less important than anyone else. We are all human and we all have our own struggles. Always be humble. Always think about what might be going on for someone else. Always help others where you can. Be grateful for being who you are and what you have. Humility to get you a long way….
Tip No 6 – Lead by Example
Integrity is the centre pole of leadership. It is crucial that you follow through on your promises and you display behaviour and action which is aligned to your words and values. This starts with knowing yourself, what is important to you, why you do what you do, what you stand for and your values. The leadership example you espouse and demonstrate can set you up for success…and failure. The only way to lead is through integrity, honesty and by example. If you say you will do something, do it. The more you know yourself and the impact you have on others, the more you will find leadership within you.
Tip No 7 – Never Stop Learning
Jack Nicholson once said “The minute you stop learning I believe you are dead.”
This is true. Never stop learning, open yourself up to feedback, read those books, watch the TED talks, attend those educational opportunities, get a coach and a mentor and open our mind, heart and soul to continuous learning, knowledge, growth and awareness. Life is always a wonderful journey of self discovery.
About Sonia McDonald
Sonia McDonald, CEO and Founder of LeadershipHQ, is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude (now on BOOKTOPIA!). She was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women Leaders across the Globe. Sonia is one of Australia’s Leading Executive Coaches. She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the globe. She is also an inspirational and dynamic leadership and neuroscience keynote speaker.
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