Gamechangers - Becoming a Leader


10 Tips for Becoming a Leader:

There are hundreds of books and websites devoted to discussing and defining what it is to be a leader. What are the traits characteristics of a good leader? Similar to many other skills, leadership is something a person develops through learning, effort and experience. It takes more than just being persuasive and charismatic. As a leader, you have to be able to use the resources you have to achieve the best results for yourself and others.

The 10 Leadership Tactics

Effective leadership is a balancing act in that you must direct and inspire others while drawing on your own abilities and resourcefulness. Here we’ll look at 10 pathways to develop your leadership skills:

  1. Take on risks and challenges: Life isn’t meant to consist of the same old routines. In order to get the most out of your own abilities, you have to challenge yourself and test your abilities.
  2. Create a vision: You may have the spirit that all leaders require, but if you haven’t got an idea for what you want to achieve, you won’t accomplish much. It’s crucial to have a vision that will fuel what you do and what you seek to achieve.
  3.  Inspire others: Inspiration can occur in many different ways and spread in ways you might not be aware of. Doing your best just may be what it takes to inspire fellow classmates and establish yourself as a role model.
  4. Lead by example: What you expect of others, you have to also expect of yourself. If you’re not willing or able to do what needs to be done, your credibility as a leader won’t last long.
  5. Practice humility: Arrogance in anyone is distasteful. You can build trusting relationships with others and establish yourself as a leader by being practical and realistic; don’t constantly talk about yourself or embellish your accomplishments. Focus on boosting others and recognizing group successes.
  6. Communicate effectively: No matter what your goals are, being able to speak or write effectively will play a huge part in getting on the right path in academics, your career and life in general. You must be able to clearly express your ideas to others.
  7. Model fairness and integrity: A key component of any leader is expressing a sense of fairness; you should strive for integrity in anything you’re involved in.
  8. Take a public speaking class: Strong public speaking skills are beneficial to anyone, regardless of age, and effective leaders must be able to speak before a crowd.
  9. Attend leadership programs: Summits, symposiums and other activities can give you the latest insights into how our society views leadership today; they’ll also give you some ideas on ways to hone your skills.
  10. Volunteer: A leader has to be willing to step out of her comfort zone, take on new challenges, and have her horizons expanded. Volunteering can accomplish all those things. Getting involved in your local community can be a great way to develop your leadership skills, or if you’re interested in the adventure of a lifetime, you can get involved in a GLA leadership program for high school students and volunteer abroad.

The Big Picture for Tomorrow's Leaders

Being a leader means understanding it’s not all about you. It’s about having a clear vision of what you want to achieve and providing a direction for others. When everyone collaborates effectively, the result is an achievement that a single individual couldn’t accomplish. Yet it’s also about developing your own abilities and skills, challenging yourself and working to your optimum potential. By following the suggestions here, you’ll stride down the path toward growing as a person and begin embodying the characteristics of a great leader.

Global Leadership Adventures is a division of Terra Education, a leader in the field of international service learning. Terra also operates Discover Corps, one to two week volunteer vacations for adults and families, in collaboration with the National Peace Corps Association.

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