How to become a Leader? Here’s 10 Smart Steps to take to become a Leader

How to become a Leader? Here’s 10 Smart Steps to take to become a Leader

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Ever heard the saying that leaders are born to lead? Well, I’m here to advise you that anyone can become a leader. The big question that we will be answering today is how to become a leader? You just need to make the right steps in the right direction.

I am a big fan of history, legends, and a firm advocate of living a life where you can be of use to others, where you being alive is a blessing to those around you. There are many ways in which you can do that, and my favorite is by being an inspirational Leader.

The Leaders I am referring to are those that naturally stand out from the crowd, are visionary and go-getters, courageous and always willing to take the lead even when the stakes are high.

Related Article: 26 Best Communication Skills for Leaders and Influencers

Becoming a leader can be a challenge if you suddenly decide you want to become one because you will have to learn how to lead your own life first before you can lead others. And at the same time, you need to make them feel like they can follow you through anything. All while making sure you lead the people around you in the right direction.

That means that they need to trust you and believe in you.

In our world today, we need strong leaders to lead us to a new age. As you can tell, there’s a lot of innovation and discoveries that are altering the world and the ways we live and experience life.

You need to be able to navigate this brave new digital era, and leverage the advantages and convenience it provides us to effectively communicate your vision, to inspire and move masses to follow and support you in making that vision a reality.

Now, if you believe you are the one we need at this age, then pay close attention. I will give you a few guidelines on how to become a leader, and who knows you can even end up the next great leader. And I hope I’ll get to write about your great achievements in the near future. Here are 10 smart steps to take to become a leader.

How to Become a Leader? 10 Smart Steps to Help You

1. Start with a Vision

Vision, Leadership

Simply put, once you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you need to know how to share your vision with the rest of the people. Besides, you need to know where you are leading them to.

Take time and make a clear vision. Or better yet, use this time to plan for your future vision. Close your eyes and imagine a world where you are in charge. If you cannot see where you are going, then you are bound to make mistakes along the way.

More importantly, don’t get stuck with the past. Even if you were successful in the past. Don’t get stuck on the same thing. Make sure you can make a brighter and better success story in the near future.

That my friend is someone I can also follow to any length.

2. Be Consistent

I know everyone finds it a safe bet to change when you’re pushed too hard. But as a leader, you need to know how far you can go before you decide to move with the tides. In short, that means, come what may, you need to stick your ground to the end.

No one would follow a leader who is always hesitant, changing ideas with any little obstacle they find, people will admire and respect your steadfastness and consistency in pursuing a vision or goals.

If it’s something you believe in, then you should be able to have a consistent character. This will help you get to your goal with ease. Also, you will be able to lead your people in the right direction.

3. Be Humble

Humility is one of the strongest virtues you can find in any leader. Assuming you truly intend to know how to become a leader, and a great one I hope, then you need to be genuinely humble from today henceforth. Make sure it’s something that comes from deep within you.

Take a look around you. If you can’t find anyone who’s humble, then be the change in the world. Don’t just fake it. That’s because your audience will be able to tell if you are faking anything from a mile away.

One crucial fact is that you should always admit when you are wrong. No one will tell you this outright, but everyone around you will believe in you more if you admit and own your mistakes. More to that, you need to be open to any feedback and suggestions. After all, no one is perfect.

That will help you learn how to improve your character and inspire people to openly share their concerns, ideas on how to improve things, on how you can make progress as a leader.

4. Stay Focused

Put your head in the game. Stay focused and produce results. Not just mere words. You need to be immune to any distractions or detours.

The leader acts as the beacon and shows the way to his/her followers if he gets detours, most likely everyone else will lose the way. Your main job is to guide them to a safe port, make sure your compass is working fine.

Listen to the story of great leaders from the past, or current days top leaders, they will all have a similar thing to say about how they got so far, and that is Focus on your vision. You should never give up nor stray from the path or challenge you set for yourself, even when everyone else is telling you to quit.

5. Think Strategically

To get people to follow you or appoint you as their leader, you need to think strategically.

You need to have your eye on the future. I’m not saying you should be a wizard. But you need to be able to see the future with you in charge.

Top leaders are often quoted to have said they would conquer things that seemed ludicrous at first, but then they have gone and achieved that and more because they had vision coupled with a strategy in place.

6. Show Courage and Tenacity

A brave person will always find himself leading a flock. That is why you need to be brave for your people. Take control of any situation with a lot of confidence. Don’t chicken out when everything gets tough.

Courage, Leadership

You need to move forward with a lot of conviction. Take a look at any great leader. They’ve shown immense courage and tenacity. Sometimes you can even think they’re fearless, but it’s not that at all, they simply are courageous enough to face their fears and move forward.

7. Encourage Justice

From time memorial, the human race has always fought for justice. For you to get even a small chance to become a leader, you need to be fair-minded.

Others need to know where they stand when they are with you. And they should also know what they expect from you.

8. Always know how to Speak in Public

Do you get shakes when you stand in front of a crowd? Well, you are not alone. For you to become a leader, you need to know that this will always be a daily thing. I mean you will always have an opportunity presented to you by the public where you need to speak your mind.

That is why you need to start getting prepared to shake off that stage fright. It’s not easy to stand in front of people and convince them to believe in you. But if you take away your fear, then you will be more than convincing.

It doesn’t matter how many people you want to lead, you will always have to speak in front of a crowd. Time and time again, great speeches changed the course of history, there’s just that much power in being able to deliver the right words to your audience.

I have a post specifically for those looking for free public speaking classes, just follow this link.

9. Maintain other sections of Your Life

Another smart step to becoming a leader is you need to make sure your life is in order. Leadership will always take a lot out of you. That means you will be spending more time becoming a leader and putting your vision in place.

However, you have a life that you need to live in. Maybe you are married with kids, or you have other dependants at home. You need to take care of your loved ones. Let your life stay in check, and your leadership ambitions will prosper.

After all, we need to have inspiration and motivation at home too. I know I have mine.

10. Put in the Hard Work

Last but not least, you need to put in hard work. If you are an upright person, which I hope you are, then there are no shortcuts to becoming the inspirational leader, the next generation leader we aspire to become. It’s all about hard work.

There are natural-born leaders in this world, but even they had to learn and improve themselves in that which didn’t come naturally to them. They had to work hard to master those skills, to internalize those traits that were required of them. That being the case, if you are not a hard worker, then engage yourself and start working.

Take your time, go through the list of steps mentioned here, for those which you require a bit more time to master, take some time to learn from trusted sources, invest in the future leader in you.

 Final Thoughts & Advice

I hope you can now relate when I say anyone can become a leader. You came here asking ‘how to become a leader’, and the short answer is ‘You need to put in the efforts, educate yourself, find a passion, a vision and strive to make it a reality. Don’t get swayed by anything. More importantly, love what you do and fall in love with the leadership position you want to take on.’

As a leader of the next generation, here’s my honest advice to you:

Do not overly rely on the technology, automation, or any other piece of tech to the point of disregarding your followers/staff.

Be Human, treat others well, value your followers or staff, genuinely care about what they have to say and show it, and always remember that they decided to have you as a leader, and they could have followed anyone else.

I am curious to know what other steps you believe a person aspiring to become a leader should take. Share your thoughts in the comments section.

That’s it, guys. Subscribe to our mail list for news and updates.

REFERENCES & FURTHER READING

Ashira Prossack. How to establish yourself as a leader. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashiraprossack1/2018/02/02/how-to-establish-yourself-as-a-leader/#6902bfb67237. Accessed on 03/19/2019.

LsWeatt. Do these 7 things if you want to become a leader. https://www.success.com/do-these-7-things-if-you-want-to-become-a-leader/. Accessed on 03/19/2019.

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Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. Kristy Bullard

    These are great steps! I like that you included humility as an important step in becoming a great leader. Humility is such an important quality for leaders to have!

    1. Emidio Amadebai

      Hi Kristy, thanks for commenting. People used to connect more on an emotional level before the cellphones and social media, and when I imagine what the future holds in terms of distracting technologies, the very definition of being human will be put to the test. We will become more and more in sync with machines and AI systems than with our fellow humans.
      I am looking to help develop leaders who are more emotionally intelligent and aware of their surroundings, not only the trends and innovation that may disrupt their business or vision but also aware of peoples’ emotions and aspirations. Leaders who are not arrogant and distant, but humble and unexpectedly close to their collaborators, their followers and peers.

  2. Gladys Parker

    I definitely don’t feel I was born to be a leader. I have fallen back from even leading my own life. Of your tips I would have to take over my own life and be humble just to start. However these are great things for my adult children and older grandchildren to read.

    1. Emidio Amadebai

      Thanks for reaching out Gladys. Being humble is not something that comes easy for some people, and then if we add being in a position of authority the challenge is even bigger. I will be doing a guest post very soon on how we as parents can help raise and nurture our children to become leaders of the next generation, and there I will discuss how we can try to inspire these virtues/traits/skills in them.
      I do hope children and grandchildren get the chance to read these tips and would love to read their opinion on it 🙂

  3. Rachel

    I have definitely been working on becoming a better public speaker. Any role I take with any type of autority requires me to talk more and more in front of people.

    1. Emidio Amadebai

      I totally agree with you there Rachel. Over the years, as I took on more projects, and lead teams I was always put in a situation of speaking in front of people, whether I am leading steering committee meetings, interviewing or managing contractors, negotiating with clients, and so on. My background of delivering speeches to large audiences prior to joining the corporate world came in handy. So, learning how to effectively communicate, how to communicate in business environments, and engage your audience is one of the greatest assets you can have as a Leader.

  4. A good leader is always looking for ways to improve. You provided some great reminders and some points to work on. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      You are welcome, Cindy. Thanks for the feedback! Continuous improvement in this ever-changing world, with continuous innovation in every industry, artificial intelligence becoming more and more useful, is the bare minimum anyone should be doing to keep up and be relevant.

  5. Sara Welch

    I have such a hard time with balance and with justice. Sometimes I just want to be the peacemaker at the cost of having justice take place. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      Hi Sara, being just is not easy. My advice in your trying to balance things would be: do not take a biased approach when making a decision, evaluating people’s efforts or performance, giving your appreciation and discipline to everyone as fairly as you can. As for peacemaking, be kind, humble, and let people know you’re there to help them, and that they can count on you when things get tough.

  6. athena

    I think it is critical that leaders understand they must maintain it in all aspects of their lives. Otherwise they will be viewed as inauthentic.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      There is an old saying in my country: “clean your house before getting yourself mixed up in other people’s houses’ issues.” You can be a natural born leader or a well trained one, regardless of the case, my opinion is you should try your best to use such skills to organize your life, your business, etc., people will not just follow what you tell them to, they will be inspired by your actions too, which honestly for me it has a far bigger impact.

  7. You have listed crucial steps one must take to become a leader. I also believe each of us has the ability to lead and you can do so without having a defined leadership role. Leadership is influencing and walking with people as oppose to them simply following you.

    Leadership requires patience and grace. It is not for the faint hearted or those seeking a quiet life. I like your point on the importance of leaders looking after themselves and family. We should have order in the home before we go out into the world.

  8. sarah kasulke

    Really good list!! Knowing how to speak in public is important… but so is knowing WHEN to speak in public!!

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      You’re right Sarah. It can be quite difficult to know WHEN to speak. I have struggled with that too, and honestly I am still working on getting better at it.
      I am a very talkative person, love to talk, and if it is a subject I am passionate about, I can go on for hours.

  9. Doreen Pendgracs

    Wonderful tips for great leadership! I’ve found that Toastmasters has helped give me great leadership and communication skills that I can apply to every aspect of my life.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      Thanks for stopping by Doreen. Public speaking, leadership, and other relevant soft skills are becoming, and will become critical in our society. Learning and gaining valuable experience is a must!

  10. Monica

    I have been working on becoming a better public speaker, but finding it very daunting? Loving these steps that I can take to become more confident in this role.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      Hi Monica,
      Becoming a better public speaker, or leader takes time and practice. I would dare to say that it takes guts as well, as it is not easy for the common folk to speak in front of others, let alone Lead others. The important thing is to continue learning, practicing and dealing with your shortcoming and mistakes in a positive manner.

  11. Erin S

    I agree with these especially maintaing all aspects of life. A well put together family leader will lead a great team

  12. Ladonna Batiste

    You offered some goods tips. I agree that anyone can be taught to be a leader but they may not be a good leader. Some people are just natural leaders and everyone wants to follow them because they are so charismatic.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      Natural born leaders are those that by some sort of natural instinct they seem to know what to do and when to do it. In our day and age, just like speaking in public, best practices can be taught to the point of making the average guy shines as a leader, and a natural born leader become a legendary leader.

  13. Tina Bowling

    This post is full of great advice! Boy, speaking in front of people is something I really need to practice. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Wendy Polisi

    Being a leader is not a job to take lightly. We are to be mindful of how we are leading and what example we are setting as we lead.

  15. Athena

    Wonderful tips – focus on respect of others, honesty and humility.

  16. blair villanueva

    A leader knows how to motivate, acknowledge and train his / her people for the future. Because the new breed will continue what the leader have started.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      Hello Blair. I totally agree with you on this one. I have planned a separate post to discuss just that. Many ‘bosses’ nowadays are posing as leaders and they are more concerned about protecting their own skin that nurturing their teams.

  17. The CEO of the bank where I used to work said the most important characteristic of a good leader is having compassion. A leader must have empathy for those who work for him or her, show kindness and care about employees’ progress and well-being. So I’d add compassion to your list.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      Hi Jeannette, I totally agree with that one. Whenever I mention the emotionally intelligent leader, I am looking at a person who is really good to others, empathic, caring, compassionate, and humane. That is the kind of person who has people going to great lengths to help and support him in achieving his/her vision.

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