A successful leader evolves according to the time and need. A leader is never constant. They always look for change and innovation, and they live by the principle of no excuses. People like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk did not become leaders overnight. They practiced, persevered, failed, and worked for their vision. A common habit that all leaders possess is the ability to keep going with the same courage and energy, whether you are successful or not. The point is to keep moving forward because the world has endless possibilities, and there are only a few you can achieve in a lifetime. Let’s know some tips on becoming a successful leader.
Who is a Successful Leader?
In simple words, a successful leader commands from the front, takes responsibility, gives responsibilities, and inspires others to become leaders, not followers. Leaders are the product of their habits and ideas.
Leadership qualities are not innate. These qualities can be developed by anyone with the correct habits and mindset. Our daily behavior reveals a lot about our personalities and beliefs. If someone is doing just what they have to and not trying anything beyond, then they are not interested or motivated in the task they are doing. If someone is trying to become better even by 0.001%, that shows their willingness to achieve what they believe in.
Qualities of a Successful Leader
A drop of water every day can fill a tank, and in the same way, a small change in your habits can make you a successful person. A leader develops leadership qualities through small changes that compound into a big one after years of practice. To become a successful leader, you must become a successful individual, and you can do that by following good habits and practicing leadership qualities.
1. Curious: Successful leaders are always curious. Curious about knowledge, innovation, and learning. Microsoft, Apple, SpaceX, Amazon were the results of curiosity. Curiosity to know things and to change things. Hence, to become a successful leader, one must become a curious wanderer.
2. Effective Communication: You are a good communicator if others can understand 9 out of 10 things you speak. Successful leaders are effective communicators too. Successful leaders communicate effectively. They know what to ask and whom to ask. When you are leading from the front, you need to communicate well. Practice effective communication to become an effective leader.
3. Reader: Bill Gates reads around 50 books a year. Reading gives you a powerful imagination and develops your intellect. Elon musk became curious about space after reading a book, and today SpaceX is making history. Read every day and be thirsty for knowledge.
4. Confident- Confidence is the self-belief successful people have in themselves. A confident personality makes you gain self-respect everywhere. Leaders believe in their abilities and ideas, and this faith comes from knowledge and curiosity. If you want to lead people and make them listen to you then, show the confidence to do so. Confidence comes from learning every day. Hence learn, gain knowledge, and exude confidence.
5. Value to work: A leader always adds value to the work. It does not matter what you do, but you have to add value to the work. That’s what successful leaders do. They don’t just work but do valuable work.
6. Compassion and Integrity: A successful leader is compassionate about the people around him. Compassion is the ability to understand the circumstances of those around us. Integrity is being honest and upright. If you want to command respect, you need to understand those around you and show integrity if you want your workers to be loyal to you.
7. Patience: Patience is a virtue. Your ideas or projects are not going to be successful overnight. You need to have the patience to succeed. If you want your subordinates to complete work on time, or you want to strike a deal, then learn the art of patience. Do your work, execute your plans and have patience because the results will be fruitful.
8. Connections: We all are familiar with connections, thanks to LinkedIn. Successful leaders know how to build successful connections. If you have an idea, then take it and share it with someone who might be interested in growing your idea. Successful connections enhance your abilities and contribute to your self-growth.
9. Respect: When you respect others, you gain respect from others. Successful leaders respect their co-workers, their views and take feedback. Learn to respect other people and their decisions and learn lessons. No one gains inspiration from a rude boss but always from someone who makes you feel valuable.
10. They Learn and Live in the Present: Successful leaders learn from their failures and others’ success. The future is uncertain, and the past is just a memory, so we must succeed in today’s plan. “If I want to become a healthy person, I need to start eating healthy from today.” So, live in the present, worry about your today’s task, and forget everything else to become a successful leader.
How can you become a successful leader?
You might not be a leader today, but you can certainly become one tomorrow. A person can become a successful leader by practicing the habits of a successful leader, not by imitating. Remember that you have to become a better version of yourself, and this might take time, so practice and keep moving forward. Here is a guide towards becoming a successful leader.
- Start with a beginner’s mind: Develop the attitude of a beginner when you are learning something new. Don’t have any preconceptions, and do not compare yourself with anyone. Start doing things with a beginner’s mind. Apply this principle when learning a new skill, developing a new habit. Once you have started learning things with a beginner’s mind, you are already on the path of a successful leader.
- Practice what you preach: When you advise your subordinates or friends about something, say about becoming disciplined or meeting targets on time, then ask yourself whether you practice such habits. As a leader, you need to lead by example, so practice whatever you preach to anyone.
- Develop habits that make you a successful leader: Practice the habits of a successful leader. It can be building a morning routine, being productive, adding value to work, and much more. They will take time, but you will be amazed by the results.
- Understand the value of time: You have 86,400 seconds in a day, and you should be in control of that time and not the other way around. Successful leaders know the value of time. The resources which you have today might not be available tomorrow so, control your time to get things done.
- Learn when to assign: Successful leaders must be aware of their capabilities and those around them. Don’t assign a task to your subordinates which you should be doing. If someone is better than you at something, then let them handle it. Learn when to assign a task and when to do it yourself.
- Become a decisive person: A leader has to be a decision-maker most of the time. Develop the quality of a decision-maker because a good decision can alleviate your respect, and a bad one can bring you down. If you are confused about what to do while making a decision, then think about the consequences of your judgment and imagine which one is more comfortable to face. You will have your answer. Remember never to be afraid to go against people if you know what you are doing.
- Become comfortable with being uncomfortable: As a leader, you need to face many challenges, sometimes from your juniors or the upper management. No matter how well you think you are performing, there will always be someone to criticize you or talk behind your back. In such situations, make yourself comfortable and do what you have to do.
- Establish yourself: As a leader, you need to decide how you want to portray yourself. If you want to be disciplined, then become disciplined with everything, be it completing an assignment, attending meetings, making decisions. Learn that your every action will have an impact on those around you. So, establish your image the way you would want to see a leader.
- Encourage others to be leaders: A successful leader creates leaders and teaches how to be independent. Encourage those around you to go beyond traditional thinking and develop themselves. This quality will make others respect you and your opinion as well as build a positive environment around you.
There is little difference between being a successful leader and an autocratic boss, and that is your attitude. A leader with the correct attitude can inspire millions, while one with a bad one can demoralize others. To become a successful leader, practice the right attitude, habits and develop yourself first. Read, learn, fail, win and repeat because nothing is constant, and hence a leader has to evolve themselves and tailor their approach according to those around them.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How to gain the respect of your subordinates?
- A successful leader commands respect. You can do that with the right approach towards your subordinates, like encouraging them, listening to their ideas, and asking for feedback.