Most people don’t think of themselves as leaders. But in some way almost everyone leads someone. A manager leads his/her staff. A dad leads a family. A mother leads her children. And we can all lead our world by our example. No matter what level of leadership you occupy, you need to employ these four basic leadership essentials. And the more you excel at these four things, the more prepared you will be for promotion to even greater levels of leadership.
1. Progressive vision. Simply put – leaders are people who can see a better place. Whatever the situation at hand, they can envision new and better possibilities. That’s why dreams are the language of leaders. “I have a dream today…” When the situation is hard, some people just get discouraged. Leaders start to imagine a better place. And by the time they arrive there, they are already seeing something even better beyond that.
2. Strategic thinking. Of course it’s not enough just to dream of a better future. It’ll remain nothing more than a dream unless you can formulate a practical plan to get from here to there. Leaders routinely take into account the resources at hand, the doors that open in the right direction, and the strength of the group they lead. Out of this they craft a workable, step-by-step plan to make change happen.
3. Effective communication. You may have a great vision and a great plan, but without this nobody will know about it but you. Most of the greatest leaders in history led through stirring speeches. Using nothing but their words they were able to paint such a compelling picture of their ‘promised land’ that people eagerly sold the farm and joined the movement.
4. Mentoring style. Good leaders get things done. Great leaders equip others. They constantly share their knowledge and skills with others. With every skill you transfer, you create greater followership. The more you equip those around you to do what you do, the more you expand your productivity and extend your reach. And as you help others to grow, they will help you to fulfill your vision.
Whether you lead a multi-national corporation or just lead your neighbour to Christ, as you ‘sharpen the saw’ – constantly working to improve in these four areas, more and more doors of opportunity will open to you. You will position yourself for promotion, moving ahead rapidly in your career and your personal life. With each successful step forward your credibility as a person and as a leader also grows. This means that when you talk, more people will listen. And more people will get on board to join your cause.