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There are many ways to become an industry leader. Still, the root of all significant influence stems from one thing: Are you the type of leader you would follow? These are the questions I asked myself, especially when we started our successful apparel company. It was only through personal reflection that I realized that I too had to develop certain qualities in order to become a significant leader in my industry. Not every leader starts off perfectly—they work to become as effective, influential, and knowledgeable as possible.
Becoming a true leader can be difficult as the challenges along the way can become arduous and even more challenging than people might expect. But that’s exactly why you develop your leadership skills: dealing with adversity and showing others the way.
However, if you follow the same principles outlined in this article, you will see how your own leadership skills develop and how, as a new leader, you can move from influencing the organization individually and then to the ultimate goal: a new status as an industry expert.
Also Read: Master These 5 Leadership Skills To Boost Your Results Tenfold
How you evolve
Many people often think that it is a matter of industry knowledge that makes people strong leaders. However, it’s a lot easier than that. It’s about knowing where they’re lacking and then having the courage to develop those skills. People really need to understand what they need to develop within themselves, which means looking at every aspect of their lives and understanding what needs improvement. It all boils down to a few critical areas:
Take care of your mental health: Your mental health isn’t just about eliminating anxiety or depression, it’s also about the mindset you carry with you every day. Having and developing an innovative mindset will be the catalyst for organizational change, which has been proven to work for almost every career stage. So work on your mindset first and the rest can easily follow.
Practice optimal wellness and create healthy routines: The most important thing I have discovered as a leader is the importance of optimal physical health. For me, this includes a morning routine that ensures that I start the day well. I exercise, I eat a nutritious breakfast, and I even meditate. You will see significant benefits when you create a routine and practice it consistently.
Develop and create resilience in: Resilience is one of the qualities that I believe every leader should have today, because without it no leader would be able to face the challenges that might arise. The path to true leadership is like climbing Mount Everest. It’s a long and difficult journey, but you have to face every challenge and get stronger as a result. When you develop resilience, you become a stronger person and can handle even more challenging situations. As a resilient leader, you grow, you learn, and you end up becoming a better leader and a better person for it.
See also: 12 actions you can take to become a better person and leader
How your leadership can become a positive influence
Whether in your leadership position, as an executive, or even as the CEO of a company, you may find that people listen to you and appreciate what you have to say. This is when you begin to see the impact of your leadership development. Here are a few tips to help you turn your own leadership skills into a positive influence in those around you:
Find out about your industry: One should always learn. Influential leaders differentiate themselves by staying abreast of current events, trends and news in their market and industry. If you do your homework and stay up to date with the latest information, you will see significant changes in your influence as you become an Expert.
Talk and participate: One of the most important responsibilities of a leader is to speak up and contribute. This is about sharing your knowledge, exchanging ideas with the group and finding solutions to problems that arise. As you speak up and contribute with the knowledge you’ve gained, you’ll see a significant difference in how people see you and how much progress is taking place.
Work on your emotional intelligence: Working on your people skills will only build on the foundation you have laid as a leader. By working on your people skills, you network more effectively, form strong connections for joint ventures, and even delegate tasks more effectively. When this happens, productivity increases. Whether you’re in a senior position or at the helm of the company, you can still make a significant impact.
See also: Why You Need Emotional Intelligence to Succeed in Business
Measure effectiveness as a leader
People can be influential without being effective — and for the wrong reasons. However, if you’ve found that your own development has made you a strong, influential leader, chances are you’ve seen your own effectiveness in action. But it’s important to know how effective you really are. Here are some ways to measure whether or not you’re effective as a leader, and how you can improve when you’re in a more challenging position:
Are you leading by example? One question you should ask yourself as a leader is whether or not you lead by example. Are you contributing in the way you would find effective if you were your own collaborator? Are your subordinates following in your footsteps and creating positive change? These are things people need to face because this is one of the top skills of an effective leader. To be influential and effective, measuring the impact you have on your organization should be a top priority.
Is your team staying productive? Another crucial question is whether the team stays productive or not. Are there hiccups and challenges you can’t handle? Are you retiring and not contributing, inadvertently challenging your team? These are all issues that should be addressed. With your influence helping others positively, people can make more effective decisions and create effective teamwork.
Is the organization effective at problem solving? Another important issue is that organizations may find themselves in a position where problem solving becomes less effective, which can be due to various issues. It could be rooted in some of the issues regarding team dynamics. Nevertheless, as a manager you have to ask yourself whether you can influence this or not. You should find out if there are ways you can help them become more open-minded and collaborative. Here it is important to set a good example. Problem solving and team cohesion shouldn’t be an issue as long as you lead by example.
Why leadership development is at the root of industry influence
Industry influence doesn’t happen overnight. As I’ve seen in my career, this comes after many advancements as a leader, giving people the tools to not only make an impact, but increase organizational effectiveness. The benefits you are likely to experience as a result of your own leadership development are astronomically beneficial – not just for you, but for your company and your industry.
By evolving and focusing on making a positive and effective impact, people can see companies become industry leaders. It is in these organizations that real leaders will develop, and people will see them as industry experts. When this happens, it is the true sign of success for any leader.
If you’re serious about truly becoming a leader, follow these tips. Really focus on how you can develop yourself and make an impact on progress and productivity in your organization, your team and ultimately your industry. Then you will truly understand what it takes to become an industry leader.