Leadership Begins With You

Lauren Krause
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Imagine your future. What do you see? Perhaps this is just the beginning of a much broader career path for you; maybe it's the start of, or the continuation of, excellence in your current field. Whatever your intentions, effective leadership skills are worth cultivating. Thankfully, there are a number of different ways to hone your leadership talents, which can be used in conjunction with one another to achieve the best results.

Before you consider applying for a managerial position, you may want to examine your motivation in more detail. Are you in it only for the money, or do you want to achieve greatness in another way? An increase in your monthly paycheck may seem the ultimate goal now, but getting a promotion is only the beginning. Once you're in your new job, you need to show ongoing evidence of your suitability for the position. In other words, you need to be an inspirational leader.

Effective leadership, in any role, begins "at home." It begins inside you. If you intend to take over management of your current department someday, you may want to consider preparing for the role well in advance. To achieve meaningful change and motivate your future staff members, you need to project a sense of surety and wisdom on a daily basis. You need to think of yourself as a leader, remain accountable as that leader and take responsibility for the results of your own effective leadership.

As you prepare for your future role, you may find it helpful to read about some of the many peaceful and respected leaders throughout history. More often than not, their modi operandi revolved around listening, inclusion and a willingness to try new things. The most effective leadership principles, therefore, include thoughtfulness, openness and the ability to think outside the proverbial box. When you utilize your staff members' individual skills and praise them for the good ideas they share with you, you engender respect and admiration.

Of course, you don't need to rely only on your own experience as you develop management prowess. A host of self-improvement volumes, motivational biographies, developmental videos and other tools exist to help you. Leadership training courses are another way to acquire the skills you may need in a future managerial position. Other training programs can help too; assertiveness courses, for example, can be very beneficial, particularly if you're not used to speaking your mind in a crowded room.

One of the most wonderful things about an effective leadership strategy is its ability to positively change the lives of people around you. Surely, as a leader, your goal is to move the business forward, but you may also inspire others to follow in your footsteps and fulfil their dreams in the process.

Preparing effectively for your role as a future leader makes it much easier to for you to assume your new position as a manager when the time comes. Effective leadership is a quality you can develop in many different ways. Self-improvement books, leadership training courses and the pioneering wisdom of experienced managers can all help you achieve your ultimate career goals.


Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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