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Leadership Development - Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

Marenda Hughes Taylor

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While anyone can become a leader, not everyone is cut out to be a leader. When considering leadership roles, it is important that we are honest with ourselves as we analyze our strengths, areas of opportunity, and willingness to step outside of our comfort zones. The first step in leadership development is determining if you have what it takes to be a leader.

Leadership is not for fence riders, followers, cowards, or indecisive people. Leaders are fearless movers, shakers, motivators, innovators, and creators. Leaders are action oriented. If the mere thought of taking action is frightening to you, consider the saying “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way, " and take the appropriate action.

To become an effective leader you must be able to make tough decisions that are sometimes unpopular but necessary for the greater good of the organization or team. Leadership requires the confidence to take calculated risks and move forward on issues with or without support of the general consensus.

Leaders confront difficult situations head on, focusing on solutions rather than the problem. Developing as a leader means seeing past what you see. Leaders see the future, they see the end result; this is how leaders tackle challenges.

Communicating openly, honestly and directly is a must for leaders. Great leaders are able to deliver tough messages in even the most tense or awkward situations no matter how discomforting it maybe for themselves or others. Developing the ability to say what needs to be said, when and how it needs to be said is critical to becoming a successful effective leader.

Great leaders readily accept responsibility for their actions, decisions, and leadership. Leaders do not make excuses, they admit mistakes, cut losses, and move forward.

All great leaders understand the concept that teamwork truly makes the dream work. It is the leaders job to provide direction, instill confidence, show infectious enthusiasm, and to motivate the team. The best leaders encourage input from the team, foster teamwork, show appreciation, and are able to evaluate the teams needs, strengths and weaknesses to provide constructive feedback, accolades, and development. Effective leadership incorporates recognizing team members for their achievements while providing and encouraging growth opportunities.

A leader is only as good as his or her team. To create a winning team a leader must always lead by example. Demonstrating a strong personal commitment and excitement towards the teams goals and vision will ultimately inspire the team to match their leaders commitment and excitement. Real leaders always aim to exceed their goals and challenge the team to do the same. The team will always follow the leader.

Gaining support and commitment is fundamental for a leader. A true leader is able to persuade and compel others to enthusiastically take up a cause, proposal, or idea. Leaders are attentive to the needs of others, make it a point to understand different perspectives, and are able to effectively influence, negotiate, and resolve conflict by creating win-win situations.

Are you a leader? Do you have what it takes to become a great leader? I believe that you can be whatever you want to be if and when you put your mind to it. Not everyone is born a leader but everyone has the potential to become a great leader.

Effective Leaders:

1. Take action.
2. Make the tough decisions.
3. Take calculated risks.
4. Confront difficult situations.
5. Deliver the tough messages.
6. Accept responsibility.
7. Show appreciation.
8. Lead by Example.
9. Gain support.
10. Create win-win situations

"Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way. "

About the author: Marenda Hughes Taylor is Chief Operating Officer of 1st Love Records, a living life abundantly Motivator , and an Internet Business Owner .


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