While you work on building your business by acquiring knowledge in your field, technical expertise, speaking skills and other business acumen, don’t overlook a trait you need to become truly successful.
The most successful people in every industry are leaders. They are the ones that others look up to, desire to learn from and aspire to be.
Leaders aren’t born – they’re created. You have to make yourself a leader in your niche or someone else will blow right past you and gain the attention of your audience.
Here are some steps you can take to improve your leadership skills.
You need to know how to manage and maximize your time. Good leaders use every last minute of their day to the best effect – even if that means scheduled down time to relax. They’re well aware of where their time should be spent, and when tasks should be delegated to someone else.
You need to have confidence in stating your opinions and beliefs. People don’t follow wishy-washy “experts” who can’t make up their minds. They want someone who knows what they believe in and is willing to say it. Will that alienate some people? Absolutely. It’s okay to weed out members of your audience that do not fit with your vision.
You need to know how to lead, not push. Your audience shouldn’t be dragged into the solutions you provide – or worse, tricked! They should follow you like a moth to a flame – because of the example you set for them.
You need to discover how to predict human nature with your target audience. Understand where their reservations are and how to overcome them. Get to know their excuses so you can blow each one to pieces and help them move toward their goals.
You need to read minds and influence others. Sometimes it’s not what they say, but what they don’t do or what they choose instead that gives you insight into how you can be a better influencer. Look for signs that your audience is giving you about what they want and need from you.
You need to be willing to publicly admit your mistakes. No guru or leader is perfect. Every one who has achieved greatness has spoken publicly about their faults and missteps. You see the public successes, but anyone who has achieved success has had failures, both large and small, public and private. In my Solo-preneuring class, I tell my students how I completely failed in my first business. I came back from that to build the profitable business I have today. Sharing my failure not only gives them information that can help them avoid the mistakes I made, it shows that it is possible to come back from failure.
You need to motivate through your example of energy, stress management, persistence and drive. People need to see you striving for even more success. They need to see you not stopping until you succeed with your short and long-term goals. Why should I follow you if you don’t seem to know where you are going and are not motivated to get there?
No matter what your chosen business model is, your leadership skills will make a significant difference in your bottom line.