Be a Better Leader

Toastmasters Networking

LEADERSHIP IS DEFINED AS: A position of a leader of a group/organization. The power or the ability to lead other people, but also inspire and empower people to be better at what they do.

When we initially became members of Toastmasters, our primary focus was on improving our public speaking abilities. However, we soon discovered that being a member of Toastmasters also presented us with the opportunity to enhance our leadership skills, given this realization, it’s only fitting to explore the topic of leadership and offer some steps to improve these skills.

Five steps to becoming a better leader.

1. Follow leaders who you look up to

Most people have someone that they look up to admire or regard as a mentor. If you want to become a good leader then you should be following leaders who you look up to, then you can learn from them and become a better leader yourself.

Take Action: Pick out 2, 3 or even 4 leaders who you admire – either for their speaking abilities, their expertise in a particular industry or niche, their ability to teach others who can learn from their mistakes – and read their articles, follow their speaking engagements and check out their presence on social media and within online communities. You’ll soon find that leaders have an effective way of getting out there and being seen and heard.

2. Practice the things that make you uncomfortable

Most of us know what it takes to become a great leader but the reason you are not a leader right now is that you are scared of those things. These things might include becoming a better speaker, building stronger relationships, or taking yourself out of your comfort zone. All these things will help you become a better leader but if you don’t challenge yourself, you will not grow.

Take Action: Start practicing those things that make you uncomfortable with a mentor or friend. Before you know it, you’ll not only become better at doing these things, but you may also actually grow to like them! Anything that makes you uncomfortable WILL make you stronger after you have achieved it.

3. Tell yourself every day that you’re a leader (and believe it!)

Our minds tend to lean on the negative side of things, so we must practice thinking positively. Thoughts like, “You’re not good enough at this, or strong enough at that.” If you think about it, it’s comforting to know these things, because it means you can’t fail. How can you fail at something you’re not even good at in the first place? To become a leader, you have to believe that you are a leader, then start ACTING like one and know that you will get better at things that you are not good at if you start doing them.

Take Action: Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself every day that you are a leader.

4. Read

To become a leader, it’s important to not only follow leaders you admire, but also continuously learn in your desired area. Leaders are known to be avid readers, so reading can introduce you to new strategies, ideas, resources, and inspiration. Always keep your mind active!

Take Action: Make a list of the top 5 books you want to read, and set a date that you want to have them finished by. Then, hold yourself accountable to that date.

5. Build and grow your relationships

Strong Communication is Key for Effective Leadership. Leadership requires robust communication skills to build and nurture relationships. The ability to connect with others, share ideas, and receive feedback is critical for growth and success. I can’t think of a single leader who “went at it alone”. You need support and motivation from those who will hold you accountable and who will act as a sounding board for feedback and recommendations.

Take Action: Consider joining an accountability group or mastermind. Be approachable and available for communication, setting clear expectations and SMART goals, also be consistent in your actions and decisions.

Finally, to become a better leader, it is important to grow in your expertise and share your insights with those around you. Teach others how to apply your knowledge and be someone your followers can trust and view as an authority figure.

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