Why Leadership Is Important in Life (And How To Develop Leadership Skills)
Ready to learn more about being a Great Leader and learn some amazing Leadership recipes that will wow your team, business life and career?
Let’s get started and get your equipment and ingredients ready below.
Chapter One – Why Leadership Is Important in Life….
Leadership is a key skill that everyone should develop and cultivate in their lives. But did you know that leadership is important in life outside of our jobs too?
Leadership helps us identify our goals, set standards for ourselves, and make better decisions. It also allows us to inspire and motivate others around us to reach their full potential.
I wear many hats in life. Mother, Leader, Coach, Mentor, Keynote Speaker, and the list goes on. But they all have something in common – they require great leadership skills.
So today, I am putting on another hat – my Chef’s hat! That’s right, I would like to invite you into my kitchen as I whip up a recipe for why leadership should matter in your life.
We will also look at the tools and equipment you need to become a good leader, my key ingredients to create the perfect leadership recipe, and step-by-step instructions for how to transform yourself into the best leader you can be in any situation – to succeed personally and professionally.
Over the next few months, I will be sharing my best recipes in being a great leader.
And yes, I’ll be giving you my secret sauce too!
So, let’s get started.
What Is Leadership?
Oxford Languages defines leadership as “the action of leading a group of people or an organisation.”
Leadership doesn’t come naturally to most of us; it takes practice, dedication, and hard work to become an effective leader.
● Creating a vision for yourself and others.
● Building relationships with people from all walks of life.
● Taking on new challenges with confidence.
● Handling difficult situations with grace.
With these skills, we can make positive changes in our own lives and those around us.
Why Leadership Should Matter In Your Life
Perhaps you’re asking yourself, “why does leadership matter in my life if I don’t want to be a leader at work?”
It’s a great question, but there is more to leadership than just in your professional work environment setting. Instead, it can be found in every aspect of your life where people interact with each other.
Leadership matters because it is an invaluable skill that can help you progress personally and professionally. It allows you to take the initiative, foster collaboration, and develop meaningful relationships with those around you.
Leadership allows you to recognise opportunities, create solutions, and make decisions that benefit yourself and others. Furthermore, leadership skills equip you with the tools to motivate and inspire others, increase morale, and become a role model.
Ultimately, effective leadership means having a positive impact on those around you.
People aren’t born leaders; instead, leadership skills are learned!
Like most things you want to get better at, you must practise leadership daily.
Are you ready to unlock your skills, transform yourself, and become a leader?
Before you start cooking this yummy leadership recipe, there are some equipment and tools that you will first need. They include:
● Growth mindset
A growth mindset is a belief that our abilities can be improved with hard work and that failure is just part of the learning process. With this attitude, leaders become more open to taking risks and making mistakes, which are necessary for progress and development. Leaders with a growth mindset are more resilient when faced with challenges because they focus on improving themselves rather than staying in their comfort zone and easily accept feedback and criticism to better understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Keeping a journal is an excellent way to build self-awareness. It allows us to reflect on our experiences, thoughts and feelings and how they affect others. Writing down our thoughts in a journal makes them more concrete, easier to understand, and, therefore, easier to change.
● Good Habits
Creating good habits is essential to becoming a successful leader and achieving personal and organisational goals. The better your habits, the easier it will be for you to lead effectively. Good habits can include being organised, eating healthy, exercising regularly, setting aside time for yourself, and having a positive attitude. It takes time to create good habits, but with consistent effort and practice, they can become part of your daily routine.
Commitment is the ability to make a decision and stick with it. It’s about knowing what you want and going after it. Commitment is not something that happens overnight; instead, it’s a process of removing distractions so you can focus on what’s important.
Practice is the key to improving any life skills – including leadership. The more you practise, the better you get. The best way to improve at anything is by doing it repeatedly until you get good results.
Having a coach/mentor is important because it gives you a different perspective. A coach will challenge your thinking, help you develop your leadership skills, and provide feedback on improving, fostering a positive transformational experience.
LeadershipHQ offers coaching to bring out your inner leadership and courage.
Passion is something every good leader needs. It helps you stay motivated and focused on what’s important. Passion is a feeling of excitement about something. That feeling gives you the energy to do things that are hard work but rewarding (like leading people).
Courage helps leaders take risks, be resilient, and make difficult decisions when the situation arises. Courageous leaders inspire others by setting a positive example of taking action despite fear or uncertainty. They are unafraid to speak up and challenge the status quo while at the same time maintaining respect for others. Courageous leaders also have the confidence to be accountable for their actions and decisions, regardless of how they turn out.
Remember that leadership starts within. To become more courageous, check out Sonia’s book First Comes Courage.
Self-acceptance involves recognising and acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses and being comfortable with yourself and your place in the world. It can help you better understand yourself, identify areas that need improvement, and develop strategies to overcome obstacles that may hinder your growth. Self-acceptance also allows leaders to be more open-minded when listening to others’ ideas and taking constructive criticism, which can help them become more effective communicators.
Now that we’ve got the tools and equipment to make yourself a leader, let’s gather the ingredients.
Learn more about our Leadership Micro-credentials!
The Importance of Leadership Skills – Key Ingredients
1 Cup – Purpose
Purpose is what you do in life. It’s the reason you do things, the motivation that drives you, and why you get up in the morning. It’s what gives you meaning, purpose and direction. Without a purpose, we are just floating around aimlessly in our lives. But, with a clear sense of purpose, we can use our leadership skills and talents to accomplish something meaningful.
1 Cup – Passion
Passion is the emotion we feel when we are doing something we love. Excitement and enthusiasm come from being deeply engaged in an activity or cause. Passion is what gives you energy, motivation and drive. When you have passion for something, it makes life easier because you are less likely to give up when times get tough.
1 Tbsp: Legacy
Leaving a legacy means creating and shaping an impactful memory that will live on for generations. It is about developing a positive and lasting impression on the people around you and ensuring that your values and beliefs are passed down to future generations.
1 Cup – Impact
Impact is the difference you make in the world, and it can be seen in the lives of others. It’s the result of your efforts and is often seen as a ripple effect that continues to grow over time. It can be seen in your work, relationships and personal legacy. However, impact is not something that happens; it is something that potential leaders must actively pursue.
½ Tsp – Wisdom
Wisdom is something anyone can gain, regardless of age or experience.
It helps us to better understand ourselves and our place in the world and apply life’s experiences to make wise decisions. Wisdom helps us become great leaders by teaching us to think critically, plan ahead, and respond appropriately in various scenarios to make the right choices for ourselves, our families and our organisations.
Definitely add plenty of kindness and empathy too.
Preparation time: There is no set time to become a leader. Some people can be ready in months, while others take years.
Cooking time: As I like to say, ‘ABC’ – Always Be Cooking!
It’s important to remember that leadership skills are something you should continually learn and improve.
How To Transform Yourself into a Good Leader: Step-By-Step Instructions
Anyone can become a great leader. Yes, especially you!
Leadership is not something you either have or don’t. Instead, it is a skill that can be learned and practised like any other.
Even if you have no leadership experience, we all have to start somewhere, and there is never a better time than right now.
You can demonstrate leadership qualities by showing initiative, being reliable and responsible, taking on new challenges or responsibilities, working well with others, having good communication skills, and being open to feedback.
You likely have more leadership experience than you think, even if you’ve only worked in entry-level positions.
Let’s look at my step-by-step instructions for transforming yourself into a great leader in life and the workplace.
Step 1: What Is Your Purpose
Finding out your purpose in life and your career can be daunting. But it is an essential part of living an authentic and meaningful life. It can take time and effort to discover what makes you happy and fulfilled, but it is worth the journey.
To get started towards finding your purpose, try to think about your passions, values, and interests.
Reflect on what drives you and motivates you to get out of bed each morning.
Ask yourself questions such as:
● What ignites passion within me?
● What do I want for the world?
● What difference do I want to make?
Consider speaking with a mentor or people you admire who have found their purpose and successfully live their life accordingly.
By reflecting on these questions and talking with others who have done the same, you can begin to craft a sense of direction for yourself that will help guide you in all areas of life.
When you find your purpose, you start your journey by taking control and understanding the importance of leadership in everyday life.
Chef’s Tip: Leaders with purpose inspire their teams to work together to achieve a shared goal through gaining the trust and respect of team members.
Step 2: Finding Your Passion
Finding your passion is essential in transforming yourself into a great leader. To start, identify what you enjoy doing and what drives you to keep going.
It could be something you are already doing or something completely new. Once you have identified your passion, set realistic goals to help keep you on track to take action to pursue it. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take risks; this will broaden your knowledge base and build self-confidence.
Make sure to connect with others with the same interests. This will foster meaningful relationships and open up more growth opportunities. Finally, remember that it’s not about finding success right away but rather taking pleasure in the journey of learning and personal development. By following these steps, you can find your passion and turn it into a successful leadership role.
Chef’s Tip: If you find your passion, pursue it, and in the process, quit the pining-for-the-weekend job you might even despise, isn’t it worth it? What are you waiting for?
Step 3: Think About Your Legacy
Becoming a leader with a legacy can be achieved by remaining consistent in your actions and words, inspiring others to follow you, and staying committed to your cause.
It is vital to set an example of how you want to be remembered by those around you and focus on leaving an everlasting impression.
Put effort into developing meaningful relationships with others, as these are the people who will remember your legacy long after you’ve gone.
Moreover, it’s essential to have clear goals and objectives that align with the values you believe in. So, when people look back at your time as a leader, they admire what you have accomplished. With determination, perseverance, and dedication to positively impacting those around you, creating a legacy that will live on is highly achievable.
Chef’s Tip: Create your legacy now. Think about how you want to be remembered. Leadership starts with you.
Step 4: What Impact Do You Want to Make
It’s time to think about the impact you want to make as a leader.
This critical step is often overlooked, as it will help guide your decisions and focus your efforts.
Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your leadership skills in life.
Is there a specific area in which you would like to make a difference?
Think about the people that will benefit from your leadership and how you can bring value to them.
Consider the impact your leadership style could have on the broader community and your organisation, both now and in the future.
Taking some time at this stage of the process will give you clarity on what direction you should take and provide valuable insight into what kind of leader you will become.
Chef’s Tip: Impact means change to people’s lives. It can be change that is positive or negative, but always has long-term effects.
Step 5: Gain Wisdom
The final step to becoming a good leader is gaining wisdom. While this may sound like something that comes with age, that isn’t the case!
Gaining wisdom involves more than just accumulating knowledge. It is also learning how to apply that knowledge in practical ways.
To grow your wisdom, you must practise mindful listening, be open to constructive criticism and observe the behaviour of those around you. It is also helpful to develop a growth mindset and take risks to learn from mistakes.
As a leader, gaining wisdom requires self-reflection and understanding how different people think and approach challenges. Building these skills allows you to become wiser and more adept at leading others successfully.
Chef’s Tip: “A good leader doesn’t just sit around and fire off orders to others; instead, they lead by example.” – Hannah Raybans.
Leadership is an essential part of life and has the potential to help us achieve our goals. It requires taking responsibility for ourselves and others while allowing us the freedom to make our own decisions.
Ultimately leadership is about taking charge of one’s life and inspiring others to do the same. It is about having faith in one’s abilities and courageously facing obstacles head-on. With strong leadership skills, we can believe in ourselves and work together towards a brighter future.
To transform yourself into a leader, you’ll need to equip yourself with tools such as a growth mindset, a journal, good habits, commitment, practice, a coach/mentor, passion, courage, and self-acceptance.
We are a leadership development and performance organisation. We encourage leaders to realise their full potential, discover their calling, and make a real difference in the world. With us, you’ll find a truly invested team that offers genuine care and support while telling it like it is. We are deeply committed to the success of our clients. You won’t have to deal with the egos of large consulting firms – your success and progression are everything to us. In our work, everyone feels safe and inspired.
We do everything –
- Cultural Development
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About the Author – Sonia McDonald
Sonia is founder of Leadership HQ and is also a renowned and award-winning author, having written several of her own books, Leadership Attitude, Just Rock It! and First Comes Courage as well as being a regular contributor in The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. She was named as one of the Top 250 Influential Women in the world as well as Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs by Richtopia.
Through her leadership advisory and coaching work at LeadershipHQ, and founding the Outstanding Leadership Awards, Sonia is internationally recognised as an expert in leadership and culture, organisational development, neuroscience, kindness, and courage.
Sonia is also a full-time single parent and has a passion for women in business and teenage mental health. Sonia travels and speaks across Australia and Globe, and she is on a mission to building a world of great leaders and leadership.