You’re either a leader or a follower. Leaders are made not born. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. To say leaders are born prepared would be an understatement to those who made themselves into leaders. Not all leaders get a clear signal, telling them to step up and take action. Everyone feels it in their gut when it’s time for them to step up. It’s your choice whether you want to accept the challenge or not. It’s hard to be a leader. You have to have the right mindset. Everyone’s counting on you to lead the way. It’s hard, yes. But with a little motivation, anyone can do it.

9 Steps To Becoming A Leader Not A Follower

Thick-skinned.

Want to lead a team? It helps to be naturally thick-skinned. There are always going to be people who doubt you, who doubt your idea, your purpose. You have to stare down the face of adversity. There are always going to be challenges in your life. You either accept the challenge or you give up on the spot.

When I was younger, I always wanted to fit in. Everyone wants to fit in at one point or another in their life. But I had an idea one day. I was being something that I knew that I wasn’t. I changed what I liked and the way I dressed, just so that people would like me. I wasn’t being me. I was being what they wanted me to be. I started to wear the type of clothes that I wanted to wear. I lost those so called friends, but at that exact moment, I became a leader. Before I was just following the pack, but now, now I’m the way I know I am on the inside.

Confident.

Be confident in your dreams. Be assertive in the way you carry yourself to others. Confidence isn’t cockiness. Being confident is being confident in your purpose. People are always going to have opinions about your idea, your purpose. Being confident in your idea will make the journey to success just a little bit easier.

Being confident can bring you a great deal of success. I’m not the type of guy who goes out of his way to be confident. But I started to embrace confidence when I had others questioning my purpose, my idea. If I had just let them walk all over, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be writing this article if I didn’t have confidence in my purpose on this Earth.

Empathetic.

Being able to pick up on how other people are feeling is a critical trait, and some people are just better at it than others. That being said if you know that you’re not good at picking up on how others are feeling, become better at it. If you can’t tell by just looking at them, then ask them. Ask them questions like, “How’s your day going so far?” or “Do you want to get a bite after work?” Getting a bite to eat after work isn’t dating your colleagues if you’re just trying to get to know them. A Lot of people open up more when they’re in a open environment where they don’t have the stress of getting that paper done by tonight weighing down on them.

I’ve always been told by friends, therapists, and even guidance counselors, that I’m more empathetic to others. If someone is sad, I’ll usually do my best to try to make them smile again. Whether that be by, a joke or just a good old fall. Once I see them smiling, I then try to address the problem that they’re going through. Only if they’re ok with it first.

Smart.

You have to know what you want out of yourself and your team. If you don’t come in with an idea, then I’m sorry to say it but you’re screwed. Every idea comes from a person who wants it to become a reality. That said, having the mindset of a champ, can pull you into the right direction.

You don’t have to have an IQ of 145 to be a leader. Take Forrest Gump for example. He only had an IQ of 75, but he still went back and risked his life to save his friend Bubba, and unintentionally saved his entire platoon during the Vietnam War.

Open-minded.

Being open to new ideas is a great tool in being a leader. Leaders don’t always do what they want. Sometimes they get advice on how to progress from their teammates. If you don’t let your teammates pitch in once and awhile, you’re never going to get anywhere.

When you’re discussing new ideas, you have to be willing to hear others opinions. When I’m discussing politics with others, things can get very controversial. Instead of not listening to others opinions, I take the time to listen to others opinions even if I don’t agree with them. If you aren’t willing to listen to others opinions, you just come across as arrogant.

Determined.

You’re never going to get anywhere in life if you aren’t determined enough to get there. Nothing is impossible. The only boundaries you have are the ones you set yourself. It might seem far away at first but you have to keep trying. If you get knocked down, get back up. We all get knocked down in life, but you have 2 choices in life. Whether to give up or keep on going.

I made a goal for myself in 2015 that no matter what happens, that I wouldn’t give up. I tried so hard to keep that goal alive. It’s hard to keep your goals alive. I’m sad to say, that I did not accomplish that goal. I gave up, because I thought that there was nothing worth to live for. That no one would miss me if I was gone. But the matter of the fact is that there were people, good people, who cared about me. Who cared if I succeeded.

Observant.

To be a leader, you have to be aware of what’s going on around you. You have to be aware of the things that are either raising your idea or crushing it. If you can fix a problem before it starts, you’ll be set on your idea.

You don’t just have to be observant about what’s going on around you. You have to be observant about trends too. What’s in and what’s out. If your idea isn’t trending, then make it trend.

Wise.

Know what you want from your idea. Who is it for? Why are you starting it? You have to know why you want this idea to succeed. How will it help people?

If you have an idea but you have no idea about what you want out of this business, then you’re not going to reach your goal. You have an idea and that’s great, but you have to have a reason why you want that idea to prosper. You see, as I was typing one day, I had an epiphany. I was an orphan, a ward of the state for the first 2 years of my life. I was one of the lucky ones to be picked out of thousands. Now, I want to help orphans. I want to better their living conditions and their success rate. I read that only 1.4% of government spending goes to the orphan crisis. That’s deplorable.

Loyal.

Being loyal to your idea can help in the long run. There may be days when you don’t know where to go from here, but you have to keep pushing until you reach that goal. If you give up on your idea, then you’re never going to make it. It may seem like there’s no hope, but you have to keep pushing. It may seem like a good idea to just give up on your idea and do the right thing and go get a job, but if you keep pushing you will succeed.

Loyalty to one’s idea is a good start. The people who you surround yourself with also matters. You should surround yourself with people who support your idea, your goal. Not people who put you and your goal down every chance that they get.

You can do it. Will it be hard? Yes. Can you do it? Yes. Keep pushing and keep fighting until you succeed.

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

 

Author

David has been writing stories and articles for awhile now and he loves what he does. He's 16 and he lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He may be young but he has the heart and ambition of a champ. He loves helping people out and loves motivating them.

1 Comment

  1. This is a very great article, all the points were really clear. There is going to be an army of leaders each leading eachother to be the best that they can be.

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