The old saying goes that leaders are born, not made. But some leaders are made through adversity. Sometimes people who have never taken on a leadership role will lead when a situation necessitates it. Parenting is one example. The potential to be a leader exists in each and every one of us.
Once you have learned the methods of being a leader, you will find the self-belief it takes to be one. Experience also contributes to taking on a leadership role with ease. Taking the lead is not an easy task, but it becomes second nature and can be very satisfying.
Leadership is not about dictating to others, it is about is inspiring others into action. The world today is filled with people who are in leadership positions, but are not good leaders. Real leaders inspire others to stand up for a noble cause.
Influence is extremely powerful, yet very subtle. Someone can be ordered to do a specific task, but that does not mean that they will do their best. Inspiring others to do their best requires positive reinforcement as well as motivation by being an example. Leadership only speaks to the tasks at hand, while influence speaks to responsiveness and attitudes. Influence is the true essence of successful leadership.
Position and title does not make a good leader. These are only some of the characteristics that make a good leader.
When complications arise, a great leader does not blame his supporters even if they in fact have failed. A true leader addresses how to correct the problems.
Leadership is neither for the egotistical nor the hesitant. Self-confidence can often be misconstrued for arrogance. This should not hold you back though. Being honest and having integrity will be seen by others. Listen to criticism, whilst considering the source. If you personalize what others say about you, or ignore criticism through arrogance, you will lose respect, and thus their support.
Inspiring a collective vision is the true essence of leadership. But before conveying the vision, it has to be developed. You must be clear about your vision and live it so that others can model it. You must facilitate others to be responsible. But at the same time, do not criticize anyone for trying, but making a sincere mistake.