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Defining The Traits Of a Leader

February 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 150

What makes a good leader? For starters, leaders don't wait for other people to give them permission to do something. They just do it. Leaders accept responsibility for the choices they make in life. They don't get sucked into the "victim mentality" syndrome, which is characterized by a persistent desire for people to blame others for their poor choices. Bottom line: Leaders realize that the decisions they make are all theirs, and thus take full responsibility for any resulting failures.

In the world of business - especially network marketing and direct sales - leadership is the defining ingredient that separates the mediocre from the superstars. It's the act of persuasion. It's getting people to see new perspectives and do things they normally wouldn't do. It's about setting your ego aside and having the passion and charisma to get people to follow you. Leaders don't follow. They just do.

Can an average person become a leader? Yes, most certainly. People can transform themselves and make huge strides in leadership abilities just as they do in other areas of personal development. It starts with inner self-leadership and expands outward to influence and move others around you. Leadership is about self-direction and self-control and shows in what "we do." Become the right kind of person (passionate, responsible, doer, believer) and others will flock right into your lap, and not until.

But, like other areas of self improvement, it's no easy task, because man's natural instinct is mediocrity. Yes, mediocrity. It would be nice if we could all become leaders by simply following a few simple steps. But the path to leadership requires finding our own way. The direction we take will differ for each of us. However, there are a few key traits we can focus on.

No Fear But Fear Itself

So what is it that keeps us from pursuing opportunities, leading others, taking action and doing what we really want to do? One word: FEAR. Fear of rejection. Fear of people. Fear of trying new things. Fear of not being perfect. Enjoying our comfort zone (average).

It's almost as if the fears we have actually begin to become like bondage. Ever feel that way? You can usually tell who lives in fear. They usually wear them on their sleeves. Ever hear people say:

"I would try that but I just don't have time." "That program will never work. I already tried networking and it didn't work before." "I would listen to you, but that sounds like some pyramid scheme."

The list of the doubts and fears that roll off people's lips is endless. Stand in any line with people, on the bus or at work, and listen to the idle chatter. You'll hear people's fear in their everyday conversation. "Oh, I hate working here, but the job market is just too difficult to try and find something else." If you want to be a great leader, learn to conquer your fears.

Embrace Failure

Study the histories of all great leaders and you'll see lives littered with failures. It's called "failing forward fast." And it's one of the top traits of successful leaders. That's why it takes guts to be a leader. Many people are scared of failure and don't like to tackle the tough issues. (Then again, not everyone wants to be a leader, right.) It requires being decisive and a willingness to take chances. And yes, to FAIL - but to accept it, learn from it and move on.

Become A Believer

Children need to "see it" in order to believe it. Leaders believe it BEFORE they see it. Here's something to try: Try doing what you say you will do. (Remember, the odds are against you). When faced with problems and obstacles, choose to learn from the experience and turn them into an opportunities. Don't whine and complain about yesterday's defeats. (It's counter-productive and you look like a fool next to Thomas Edison). Key: Until you're able to wipe out the past mistakes from the movie projector that keeps playing in your head, you'll never be able to move forward. Leaders believe in themselves and believe in abundance.

Take Some Risks

Leaders are the ones willing to make huge sacrifices in time, money and family in order to achieve their goals. Risk is the price you pay for success. You must carry the burden and have the backbone to make decisions that are not popular. Be internally directed, not "socially fit." You'll never achieve wealth and success as long as you care what other people thing of you. Yes, leadership has a price, (risk) but it also offers tremendous rewards.

Don't Follow The Crowd

Here's a crucial defining trait of a leader: they don't follow the crowd. Nothing great was ever accomplished by a crowd. A crowd merely blows with the wind, like scattered leaves. Crowds have no purpose and end up nowhere. It takes courage to go against the crowd and be a true individual, but it's the most exciting, exhilarating thing we can do. It's also the most difficult and frightening. That's why success is so elusive and so rare.

Take Ted Turner of CNN fame, for instance. He said, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way!" Was Turner moving with the herd? No, he was the captain, not one of the deck hands. Most people live in a state of self-consciousness. They go to work, support their families are active in their communities and are good citizens. Their egos are socially supported which means they go with the flow. Thus, because they are moving with the herd and moving with the group's collective consciousness, they struggle. It's never their goals, their vision or their choices. Most people rarely, if ever, move into the direction of freedom and true self expression.

The leaders are your freedom fighters. These are people like Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, Margaret Thatcher, Thomas Jefferson, Bill Gates. Leaders usually affect thousands of people. Anytime you share your energy with enough other people, BAM, success follows. The problem though is that the notion of prosperity scares many people because they were taught that money is evil, or are afraid of the responsibility that comes with success.

While the world continues to change, the traits of good leaders remain constant. The principles are timeless. Once you learn how to liberate the leader within you, extraordinary things happen.

A.L. Royce is an accomplished writer and consultant with more than 25 years of marketing communications experience. For his latest insights, analysis and business-building tools, visit his blog at:

Source: EzineArticles
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