Some people are born leaders. It comes instinctively to them. They have both the skills and the instincts to understand how to motivate others to follow their lead and those skills and instincts seem to be almost intrinsic to their nature. For others, leadership comes far less naturally. True leaders, though, are self-aware enough to know that no one is ever born with all the skills he or she needs to live, much less to succeed in life. True leaders go out and find ways to learn what they need to know in order to fill in the gaps of their existing skills and instincts. You can, too. Whether or not you’re currently a leader in your career, home or volunteer position, learning from the examples of others about leadership can bring you new skills to help you navigate life.
Know Your Niche
While leadership skills can transcend genres, knowing where you want to apply your newly acquired abilities can help narrow down which experts to emulate. For example, if you’re an entrepreneur or want to become a leader in the financial sector, you want to check out the career and advice of someone like Dr. Ari Betof. Dr. Betof has lent his perspective and leadership experience to several podcasts, as well as to a mentoring program at Harvard University and as a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. While listening to him speak may not provide you with a road map for success in your own life, it may help you pinpoint things you’d like to learn to do better or skills you think you may need to point you in the right direction. Regardless of what new concepts you want to learn, Dr. Betof would applaud you as he is a proponent of life-long learning himself.
Expanding Your Zone
While knowing who you are and where you want to go is important, don’t rule out the idea that you can learn leadership skills from people in other areas, too. Have you ever played a single day as a starter on an NBA team? Most of us haven’t. That doesn’t mean we have nothing to learn from Magic Johnson, a retired NBA All-Star who now works as a motivational speaker, philanthropist and entrepreneur. Here is a man who’s made it to the top by taking whatever life throws at him and making it not only work for him but work well for him. Despite personal setbacks, Mr. Johnson runs a company that, among other things, “serves as a catalyst for fostering community and economic empowerment by providing access to high-quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of multicultural communities,” which is the mission of Magic Johnson Enterprises. Mr. Johnson is a leader in integrating his corporation with the communities in which they serve. He understands that empowering people and strengthening communities will in turn fortify the company because people are the core of his company. Learning about how Mr. Johnson leads in both the corporate environment and in the community as well as his subsequent mixing of the two could give you a greater understanding of why good leadership is so important.
Choose your mentors carefully as you embark on becoming a better leader.