12 Ways to Know If You Are a Leader

You’ve heard it at conferences. You’ve read it in books. Everyone is a leader. Do you believe this? I don’t.

A Group of Business People in a Meeting - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Yuri_Arcurs, Image #12479982

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Yuri_Arcurs

While everyone has the potential to be a leader, most never take up the mantle. They are content to let others take the risk and do the work.

Several years ago, I read a post by Tony Morgan called “10 Easy Ways to Know You’re Not a Leader.” I took that list, and then inverted and expanded it.

Here are twelve ways to know if you are a leader:

  1. You long to make a difference.
  2. You’re discontent and dissatisfied with the status quo.
  3. You’re not waiting on a bigger staff or more resources to accomplish your vision.
  4. Your dreams are so big they seem impossible.
  5. You acknowledge what is but inevitably ask, “What could be?
  6. You realize that you don’t have to be in charge to have significant influence.
  7. You refuse to blame others for your circumstances and take responsibility for finding solutions.
  8. You foster unity by bringing people together and encouraging dialogue.
  9. You are quick to say, “I messed up. Here’s what I am going to do to fix the problem I created.”
  10. You value relationships more than tasks.
  11. You walk your talk—not perfectly but sincerely and intentionally.
  12. You are a learner. You read, listen to podcasts, attend conferences, and ask other leaders lots of questions.

If this sounds like you, congratulations. You are a leader—or well on your way to becoming one. Leadership is not about experience, education, or talent. It’s about the choosing to lead. That’s where it begins.

Question: How else can you know if you are a leader? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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