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Where does leadership begin?

I have always seen leadership as a great tool with which any change is created and sustained. I came to learn this through the first lessons I learned in Church and my Social Studies. So, it inspired me to desire to be a leader, because I have always wanted to be able to create and contribute to change.

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For years, I felt and believed that one is a leader because of the position or title he holds. And if you want to become a great leader you must desire and acquire a great position or title. It took an experience in my Senior Secondary school for me to realise that leadership is not a position or title.

You can be put in a position or given a title and yet not be leading. This realization opened up a new quest for me, to understand more about leadership and where it truly begins. It was all in the process of finding an answer that I came to accept that every leader must first begin with leadership of oneself.

Ever since then, I strive to improve how I lead myself daily because when I can lead myself well enough, I need no longer shout “here I am, follow me” because my neighbour would of his/her own volition see and follow.

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In the same vein, if you must improve yourself into the Leader that will create and contribute to change wherever you are, you must realise that it first starts with you. When you have realized this, your leadership will not automatically improve. No. What will happen is that your understanding of the journey towards your leadership development will change from what it used to be and you will better be in a position to affect your leadership for good if you choose.

To affect your leadership for good, there are a few steps to take:

Accept The Responsibility For Your Leadership Development

No one is going to develop you for you. That is the first commandment of Personal Growth. If you are going to help yourself in improving your leadership, you will need to accept the responsibility to do that.

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Invest In Developing Useful Leadership Skills

Leadership is learnt. To be an effective leader requires some set of skills that must be consciously developed. These skills can be learnt through various media, but the primary medium books. There are a number of good books on leadership that can help provide you with the knowledge and guidance you need for your leadership development.

Others include special training or workshop designed for such. Examples of important leadership skills to develop include communication, emotional intelligence, resilience/courage, delegation, negotiation and so many others.

Diligently Apply The Skills You Have Developed

It is important that as you seek to acquire various leadership skills, you diligently work on applying them to yourself and in all you do. When you fail to apply the skills you have learned, you will not gain mastery of them. Application is what leads to mastery.

Just like I pointed out, you don’t need a leadership position or title in order to grow your leadership, so you can apply the various leadership skills you have learnt in your day to day interactions with people. For instance, in the case of emotional intelligence, you could start by paying attention to the way you handle or manage your emotions when interacting with others.

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This article was first published on 21st April 2022


Ifegwu-Mbonu Victor is a Personal Growth and Leadership Trainer who provides training and coaching to individuals and organizations.

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