If you had to name a leader who inspires you, be it from politics, the corporate arena, perhaps from history or someone you would like to emulate, who would it be? Is it a politician or statesman who stood up for what they believed in and created positive change, a thought leader who changed the world with ideas or an entrepreneur who envisaged and created a global empire?
What Attracts you to Them?
Over the years I have met many leaders including some princes, prime-ministers and industry leaders. Some have it and some do not. Those that do are charismatic, larger than life and when you are in their presence you don't just see or hear it - you feel it. It's a powerful attracting force that draws you to them, inspires you and makes you want to follow them. It stems from
It's all about Authenticity
So if authenticity is at the heart of it, that's great news because the subject of “you” happens to be a subject that you are an expert on. It’s a topic that interests you and one you are heavily invested in. Remember, what we are looking to achieve is not how you can be the greatest leader that ever lived, but how you can be the best version of yourself and reach your true potential as a leader. Knowing yourself provides the foundation from which you will develop as a leader.
And creating a Unique Brand
To build a strong brand you need to understand what is it that makes you special, what is unique about you that will be appealing to the people you wish to lead. This is a combination of your values, drivers and experience. It also includes your image, the experience you have and probably most significantly, the way you behave, because what you do is more important than what you say when you are building your credentials to lead others. But, knowing who you are, who you want to be and how you will be, is a great start to building your brand, but that's not the whole picture.
But it's also about THEM
Remember THEM, your followers, the people who give you their permission to lead them. Leaders need followers. So once you have crafted your brand, how you wish to be perceived, you need to test it, understand if others see you as you wish to be seen. Or are they telling another story behind your back.
So are you a good leader?
You may think of yourself as a good leader, but do others agree? Is your perception of yourself accurate and how would you know? The sad fact is being a leader is often a lonely place. People around a leader can feel unable to tell the truth, which can cause you to over estimate your reputation and capability.
The best way to find out what others think is simple - ask them. You can do this yourself but its unlikely you will get to the truth, so this is best done professionally by an independent coach who can help you to get some real perspective. I won't lie, it's a hard thing to do and you have to be prepared to hear things you might not like, but the feedback you get is a gift. A gift that can fast track your leadership to another level.