The capacity to inspire one’s team to work together toward a single objective is often seen as a hallmark of leadership. Some may see this as a call to heroic action.
When Nelson Mandela passed away, the whole globe seemed to stop. The fact that he fought for civil liberties and then became a political prisoner, that he became the first black president of South Africa, and that he won the Nobel Peace Prize is enough to make him a remarkable leader on its own.
Those who hold this view often equate leadership with management. However, despite the common use, these terms do not have the same meaning. You may have worked under a boss you didn’t really like, but felt obligated to follow because of their position of control and the potential consequences of disobeying them.
According to my findings, remarkable influence is what separates a leader from a manager. And far from being the exclusive domain of business and politics, leadership is essential to every group, no matter what they do for a living.
Fundamental abilities for leaders
Someone who will stand up for their beliefs and defend their demands is essential at every age and in every walk of life. This implies that even a 20-year-old doing a minimum wage job for the first time should consider the importance of developing their leadership abilities.
The ability to recognize potential where others see difficulty or uncertainty is a key component of every successful entrepreneur’s toolkit. Taking chances is an essential part of this. Greta Thunberg, then 15 years old, organized her first and so far only school strike for climate change in 2018. A worldwide young activism movement has been inspired by the 2019 Nobel peace prize winner.
Meanwhile, technical talents include the knowledge and reasoning processes essential for success in one’s chosen profession. It was clear in 2021 that Nigerian novelist and feminist thinker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie had arrived at the pinnacle of her profession when she was named one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the Year.
The third category includes abilities related to interacting with others. You may improve your decision-making and teamwork by being a competent communicator who is also empathetic. The fact that Mahatma Gandhi was prepared to adopt the lifestyle of the people he worked to improve made him an inspiring figure.
Finally, the ability to comprehend and analyze complicated circumstances and produce new ideas is a product of conceptual talents. This implies you think on your feet and can come up with original solutions to challenges. Martin Luther King’s unshakeable vision was a clear image of the future of the country, and he was able to successfully express this vision to the American people, inspiring millions.
These are highly transferable leadership abilities. You can take them with you even if your career takes a different path. Ben Carson was the youngest head of pediatric neurosurgery in the United States before he campaigned for president and became secretary of housing and urban development. Since then, he’s established a prestigious policy think tank.
Carson overcame adversity to reach success in his professional life. His experience exemplifies the leadership qualities of visioning, determination, and decision-making, as well as the risk-taking necessary to seize possibilities.
Mentors and heroes
Imitating the actions of influential individuals you look up to is a great method to hone your own leadership abilities. Oprah Winfrey has said that Maya Angelou, a writer she met in the 1970s, was the most influential person in her life and work.
Having a mentor may help you hone the abilities you already possess. When you learn, teach, as Winfrey has quoted Angelou as saying. One of her finest pieces of advice was, “When you get, give.”
It’s just as crucial to put money into one’s own development. Learn from a wide variety of sources, push yourself academically, and never stop educating yourself. Be aware of your learning gaps and make preparations to close them by analyzing your strengths and shortcomings. Maintain a sense of wonder and modesty, and keep careful, detailed development records. Keep in mind that no one achieves leadership or excellence immediately. There are many examples of political leaders who have lost their path.
One must first look inside. Consider your motivations for seeking leadership roles. Those who desire power just for their own benefit usually meet with disappointment. The finest definition of leadership is the willingness to put others’ needs before your own.