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Two or more people together doing the same thing make up a group. The one thing that all groups require is leadership. No matter what the group is doing it is vital to know how to be a good leader. Leadership is necessary whether your group is building nanobots to cure cancer or keeping a game of monopoly fun when Uncle Ted built Las Vegas on Park Place. Leadership is that invisible force that drives the reason, the best methods, and the end result of everything we do. This article will provide everything you need to learn how to be a good leader.
The art of leadership is practiced by all members of a group to encourage achievement. You don’t have to be the one in charge to be a leader. Managers need subordinates to lead them in the right direction. It is important for managers to recognize the areas of leadership expertise in the entire group in order to take advantage of strength and assist in weakness. The characteristics of a good leader are very broad and subjective, but in all cases make a difference in success. We have all been leaders in one form or another whether we realize it or not. It is important to cultivate this skill in order to be a team player in whatever situation you find yourself in.
Defining Leadership Styles
To start your understanding of leadership, I recommend reading this article explaining the 6 Leadership Styles and when you should use them by Robyn Benincasa of Fast Company. This article brilliantly explains the difference between management and leadership and why everyone in an organization needs to learn leadership. The article provides an accurate definition of the essence of leadership and how each style is best used for organizational effectiveness.
Natural Born Leader vs. Becoming a Good Leader
It is the most debated topic in leadership theory as well as the most misunderstood. If you are interested in putting this debate to bed then read as Dr. Connson Chou Locke of Harvard Business Review explains why asking whether leaders are born or learned is the wrong question. The biggest take away from this article is that just because you perceive someone as a born leader it doesn’t mean they are a great leader.
Qualities of a Good Leader
Many people have their own list of the top characteristics of great leaders, but I think that the top 10 qualities of a great leader written by Tanya Prive of Forbes are a great set of concrete benchmarks. All of the qualities in this list can be learned or improved. Continually striving for these characteristics will set you apart as an effective leader.
Best Leadership Books
There is an immense amount of leadership books out there on many aspects and perspectives of leadership. I have included three of the most widely accepted books on the subject that I feel provide the most benefit.
- ”The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership” – John C Maxwell, one of the most respected experts in leadership, lays out the road map to effective leadership.
- “How to win friends and influence people” – Dale Carnegie explains how to influence people the right way.
- “Good to great: why some companies make the leap and some don’t ” – Jim Collins explores the factors that control the greatness of leaders.
Best Leadership Quotes
A great way to find inspiration and guidance in leadership is through the quotes of history’s most successful leaders. Leadershipnow.com is a website with lots of resources on leadership. Their sprawling database of leadership quotes encompasses some of the most insightful quotes by incredibly interesting people. The quotes are divided into many categories to help you find the right nugget of wisdom you need.
All-inclusive Course on How to be a Good Leader
If you are looking for a full leadership course that provides an in-depth understanding of effective leadership then this course by Brian Tracy is for you. Brian Tracy is a well known speaker on effective business practices including sales, time management, personal development, and leadership. Mr. Tracy will give you the tools necessary for a better life through improving your ability to guide your team. This course provides hours of content meant to empower you to be a better leader and a 374 page workbook to help you implement what you’ve learned.
Lectures from Leadership Experts
If you haven’t heard of TED talks then these TED talks videos on leadership behavior are a great place to encounter this new learning horizon. Basically, they are engaging lectures given by the world’s most respected experts in their field. The ideas presented in these talks exemplify the innovation of an industry that, believe it or not, is ever changing and evolving with society. If you want to be on the cutting edge of the future of leadership get on the TED bandwagon.
Leadership Characteristics in the Real World
If you have learned the general principals of leadership and are interested in learning from the experience of established business leaders then Forbes’ leadership page is a powerful resource. Forbes is a world leader of leadership in business. It is a huge repository of the trials, tribulations, accomplishments, and achievements of the biggest practitioners of leadership. Frequent reading of these types of articles will also keep you up to date on what other leaders are doing and give you inspiration to use in your situation.
Highly Respected Leadership Course
If you are interested in learning how to be a good leader from the most well respected institution in leadership then the courses offered by Dale Carnegie Training is for you. It may cost you a little bit more money, but you are getting lessons from a company that is highly regarded by Warren Buffet and many other reputable companies. It has been around for a long time and has stayed at the forefront of leadership. It offers a myriad of specific courses designed for individuals and organizations.
If you are looking for a leadership app then the only one worth mentioning is Leadership Development available on the Google Play and iTunes. This app is basically a culmination of many articles and videos from across the internet all in one place. This app has a broad assortment of information on cutting edge ideas in leadership. The app is a great way to stay up to date on the latest trends in the industry.
We all have an inner leader inside of us. Let me know in the comments how you stood up and lead your team All we need to do is let it out and constantly give it attention. Whatever type of group or authority you find yourself, make sure to lead it to success. If you like this article please subscribe to my newsletter to get updates of others like it. Pick your passion and carry the flag.