How to Pull True Leadership From Within
By Alan Olsen
Are you a natural born leader? The truth is no one is born a leader. Yes, many people do have innate leadership qualities about them. But they still have to learn how to use those qualities and attributes to becomea great leader. So how do you learn to become a better leader? What does it take to improve your leadership skills? And can you teach yourself to become a better leader? The answer is yes.
It All Starts in the Mind
It turns out, according to a study called The Mind of the Leader, co-authored by Jacqueline Carter and Rasmus Hougaard, the key to improving leadership all starts in your own mind. In other words, according to the study, by understanding how your mind works, you can lead yourself more effectively. Once you understand how to effectively lead yourself, you will also understand how to better lead others, as well. Therefore, it stands to reason that when you’ve figured out how to lead others more effectively, then you will be able to effectively lead organizations.
Effective Leadership Leads to Happy Organizations
Being able to effectively lead an organization is the key to being a great leader. That’s because effectively leading an organization will allow you and those you lead to be more engaged, and productive and to achieve greater success.And it doesn’t stop there. Having an engaged and productive workplace means you and your subordinates will be happier and have better cohesion. This is the kind of work situation that almost everyone desires.Key Qualities for Learning LeadershipSo how does one train his or her mind to be a leader? According to the research by Carter and Hougaard, there are three key mental qualities that great leaders need to cultivate: compassion, selflessness and mindfulness. Each of these traits will help leaders learn to train their minds for better leadership.
Compassion–being ableto show compassion means you always have other people’s happiness on your mind. A good leader is always looking to improve the happiness level throughtouthe organization, as well. Peoplewho work for a compassionate leader also know they can trust and rely on their leader for help.
Selflessness–obviously, someone who is selfless is not selfish. Selfish people are ego-centered and care about themselves. Being selfless allows leaders to put others first, which increases creativity and engagement.
Mindfulness–being mindful helps leaders focus and stay on task, which leads to high productivity. It also enables leaders to be wholly present with everyone theydeal with.
Additionally, there is also growing research that indicates that these three qualities help leaders create better organizational performance, trust, health, and social cohesion.
You Can Train Your Brain
Training your brain might seem difficult, but scientific research has shown that you can actually teach your brain to learn mental qualities, just like you can train your muscles to learn physical qualities by continually exercising and going to the gym. Therefore, you need to implement specific mental training exercises to teach your brain, much like you would use physical exercise to train your muscles. Teaching yourself to becoming a great leader is possible, but you must work for it.