Many of us have an innate desire to inspire others like Martin Luther King, Jr., change the world like Bill Gates, or save lives like Marie Curie. But before they became these great world-changers, they all lived very ordinary lives. There are traits each of us can develop in our everyday lives to be a better leader and inspire those around us.
Humility is a lost art in our culture. We are quick to seek recognition and put our own needs before others. But great leaders start by first serving the people around them. Ask yourself how you can better serve your team. Be transparent and apologize when you make mistakes. Demonstrate a willingness to learn – a teachable attitude goes a long way.
This can be particularly tough even in the greatest of work environments. The stress of work and home often cause us to focus on the negative. Try starting your day by writing down three things you’re grateful for. This positive attitude will carry you throughout your day and others will be inspired by your optimism. And when issues arise, focus on finding the solution instead of the problem.
Having a boss or colleague who is “all business, all the time” gets stale very quickly. Take time to get to know your teammates and share personal anecdotes. Invite them to watch the game or workout together. You don’t have to unload your whole life story, but letting them in is a great way to show you care and you’re interested. They’ll appreciate your vulnerability and respect you more for it.
Challenge the status-quo.
One thing all great leaders have in common is that they push the limits. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you think things (or people) can be better. Great friends and great coworkers challenge each other to think deeper and go farther.
Have tips for being a better leader? Let us know in the comments!