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Are You A Leader Or A Follower?

At some point in our lives, we all think we are leaders and have better leadership qualities than others. Whenever we get a chance, we provide our opinions and points of view to solve the problem[s] differently and also find many mistakes made by others. It’s all well and good, but the question is: are you a leader or a follower?
There are many definitions of leadership, and it’s very hard to say which one is right and which one is wrong? The best definition I found is “If you have follower[s] then you are Leader or else you are just walking alone”.
Leadership is not just leading a task or solving a problem, but it is more than that. So, the million dollar question is: “What are the leadership qualities?” After knowing this, how can I instill all these qualities in my behavior, so that I can be a good leader.
There are many types of leaders: 1) Political Leader 2) Social Leader 3) Corporate Leader 4) Charismatic Leader. Some of them are appointed and some of them earn their title/respect by their qualities. Leadership is about social influence, not positional power. In this article, I will be summarizing the latter one, where you will learn some good qualities of leaders and turn yourself into a great leader.
Leadership Qualities:
Leaders are visionary. Leaders should provide a clear vision to their team. Situations may be tough and uncertainties may be high, odds may be against you, but in such a difficult situation, a leader still peruse their vision and enables, engages, energizes and empowers people to work on their mission to achieve a long term vision.

Where there is no vision, there is no hope. - George Washington Carver

Leaders must be integral. Leaders do their best to manage their say/do ratio and fulfil their commitments. They always follow integrity whether in the office, at home, or elsewhere. No matter which angle or situation you look at, leaders look the same; their actions and decisions are always based on their core values.
Lead by Example:
Leaders do their work first; they work with the team and provide a good example to their team. If you want to lead a team, then the best way to lead is to work with them, rather than work on them. Make your team members your friends, earn their trust, and constantly show them a good example. You don’t have to have an official title or a role to be a leader. Leaders like Mother Teresa, who had no title, but influenced millions.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. - John Quincy Adams

Leaders follow 3M steps-> 1) Monitor, 2) Measure, and 3) Manage the situations. Leaders are proactive, they analyzes the problem very thoroughly, ask tough questions to get real data, and after collecting certain data, they plan and start executing plan. They don’t waste time and they are known to make good decisions during tough situations and with limited information. They don’t procrastinate!
Leaders are humble, they treat others the way others are liked to be treated. Leaders’ maturity is defined the way they treat the lower level people. Leaders know decisions are important, but before making any decisions they think about how decisions will be felt by others. Leaders focus on their mode of delivery, and they ensure that their message and decision are taken positively by other team members.
Leaders are continual learners, they always find opportunities to learn from others, and they define a good routine to keep up with new technology and new information. They follow great daily disciplines; they find mentors whom they look for advice.

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. - John F. Kennedy

Risk taker:
Leaders are risk takers. They know that without taking risks it’s hard to get higher rewards. They know what information they should obtain and review it before making any risky decisions. They know how to mitigate the risks; they proactively monitor the situations, and take very corrective actions to turn the bad situations into good.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. - Steve Jobs

Leaders know how to work with large a customer base and stakeholders. Leaders know how to influence others and led them to a solution. They work with others to define nice to haves and other qualifiers, and get their blessing for a greater good.
Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better. - Bill Bradley

Problem solver:
Leaders like to solve problem. They enjoy solving difficult problem for their team. They work very diligently, instead of solving problem; they inspire and lead team members to find the solutions.

Don't find fault, find a remedy. -Henry Ford

Leaders do not need external motivation. They are self-motivated. They drive themselves and they don’t wait for a title or a role or other motivation, they just take a stab at it and start working on it. The best way to see leaders in action is to put them in tough situations and you would see leaders step up and start driving others to solution. They will take more responsibilities and will form a team quickly; they will do more work by themselves but still give more credits to others.

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. - Ralph Nader

Action Oriented:
Leaders are action oriented and like to keep moving. No matter what problem they are trying to solve, they keep taking progressive actions. Based on the outcome they change their plan, but they don’t stop or give up at any point. Leaders solve the problems by taking small actions at a time and inspire others do the same.

We become what we think about most of the time, and that's the strangest secret. - Earl Nightingale

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