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Monday, June 23, 2014

3 Steps to Becoming an Effective Leader

There is a difference between being an average leader and an effective leader.  The circle of influence of the effective leader far greater than that of the average leader.  With a larger circle of influence, there is a greater impact, and with a positive impact, one can change the entire world.

As a runner, I really want to encourage those around me to live a healthy lifestyle (not necessarily just running) as well as motivating others to achieving their dreams... and I wondered how could I do better?  I figured that there are a lot of people that do what I do and inspire others, but only a few actually stood out as an effective leader.  I yearned to be like one of those who were able to touch the lives of millions of people.   I desired the charisma of the leaders that blew the minds of the people and impacted lives and brought hope to those that needed it... and I came across these 3 steps.

First.  You need to understand the current situation as it is.  Where you are now is very important because if you don't know where you are now, how are you to know where you're wanting to go or how to get there?  In understanding the current situation as it is, you give yourself the starting point, the materials you have, and live in this real world.  You're not underestimating yourself and what you have, because then your dreams you want to achieve will become smaller.  You don't overestimate yourself and what you have because then your dreams will be too big and impossible.  You go with what you have.  That way, you can focus clearly on the next step.

Second.  You need to have a vision.  In having this vision, you use the knowledge of the here and now to focus on the endless possibilities you can do with it, and work towards your goal.  Without an end goal, you will end up unfocused and working towards several things that you never had to work on, but with an end goal, you can focus all your time and effort towards that vision, and wisely work your way to taking the steps needed in order to accomplish that.  Make the vision as real as you can.  Understand what you need to do to reach that and plan things out.  Realize what's possible with the different materials and talents you are given in the beginning and connect everything together to create a path to your dreams.

Third.  You need to take the steps.  What good is it to have a road-map to success if you're not going to use it?  The thing is, even if you put so much work in creating the perfect plan... if you don't execute it, nothing happens.  A leader needs to not only understand the current situation and create a vision.  A leader ought to take the steps towards making it happen.  In taking the steps, the leader puts him/herself in the front lines, works towards that vision, and as they take those steps forward to making their dreams come true, the leader will attract those who believe in the same thing and naturally will follow the one with a clear vision and work towards making it a reality.

The thing is, there are an awful lot of people working towards a bunch of goals.  Some of them don't understand the first step and therefore their vision becomes tainted and not as good as it could be.  Others will not create this clear vision and work towards a series of goals and waste their time, energy, and money on some projects that they didn't need to work on.  Still others will not take the steps to working towards their goals and have others do the work for them.  In doing so, things will get done... but it becomes a passionless progress, not as fast and not as effective.

In working with these 3 steps, it is possible to become an effective leader that can impact the world... and here's the kicker.  Effective leaders cannot quit.  In being an example, in being an inspiration, we are part of what gives hope to those around us.  Should we stop... should we quit... that gives the people around us a reason to quit.  As an effective leader, we shoulder the responsibility of not just ourselves and our dreams, but also of those around us.  There are always people following what we do, and they are encouraged by our accomplishments, so understand that there will be a time when we feel like quitting.  There will be a time when you don't feel like progressing....  However, as an effective leader, we need to prevail because we may be what gives hope to another individual as they work towards their dreams.

Effective leaders aren't effective because they just follow these 3 steps.  Effective leaders are effective because no matter what happens, they choose to push on towards their dreams, making the impossible possible, and giving hope to those around them.

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