The same is true of your 5th grade teacher or high school math teacher who was tough and made you to stay up at night cramming in order to be successful. Whether it was a teacher or a leader, the people that pushed you past your comfort zone may be remembered as "the person who really cared about everyone and pushed us harder to be our best." That defined their brand.
As a leader, there are three significant characteristics you must adopt. First, commit to being a life-long learner. Second, embrace your creative side. Third, find yourself a mentor/coach.
Learning should not stop when traditional schooling ends. By actively seeking opportunities to increase your knowledge base you are actively searching for ways to improve your life. Education does not need to be formal. Odds are everyone you know has something to teach you. It is up to you to allow them to do so.
The way we learn may be formal, informal, or self-directed. Through our daily interactions with social media, the media, and with technology, we discover a global opportunity within our own small world. Research shows that self-learning is the most beneficial and sustainable. By actively engaging in the learning process and making the commitment to implement what you learn, your journey of self-improvement as a leader begins.
When you enrich your learning through rewarding yourself with a creative outlet, you bring into balance all the aspects of who you are and who you can become. Even if you are completely lacking in artistic talent and abilities, having a creative outlet of any sort may be very therapeutic. As you indulge yourself in self-expression your leadership talents begin to build and multiply.
Finally, think of your favorite athlete, musician, or performer. What do they have that you may not have? Money? Talent? The correct answer is a coach; a mentor. The most successful people in the world, even Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and Oprah Winfrey all have a mentor. If you are the smartest or wealthiest person in your group, you need to change groups.
Allow yourself to be encouraged, inspired, and mentored by people much larger than yourself. Everyone need a mentor to produce results that exceed the ordinary. By choosing to surround yourself with those who are committed to succeeding in the fields that interest you, you set yourself up for success as well as increasing your ability to mentor others.
So, who is your mentor? As a leader, are you your own brand?
bartism: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”