Look at the powerhouses of each big company: Steve Jobs and Apple, Stan Lee and Marvel, Bill Gates and Microsoft, Elon Musk and SpaceX. Every time any of them did anything, it would influence the way people viewed the company these people stood or still stand at the head of.
This is exactly why it is so important to develop a unique leadership voice and stand by it. The way you hold yourself will influence the well-being of your company. But it's not always easy to understand what makes you special and how you can use it to attract people to your business. Here are five tips on how to find and develop your leadership voice.
1. Identify Your Leadership Voice
The first thing you have to ask yourself is: What is my leadership voice?
It sounds easy and quite plain, but that question is the equivalent of "Who do you want to be when you grow up?" The only exception is that you ask it when you are already grown up.
Media has been covering the various stereotypes about being a leader. Some show corporate leaders as heartless beings, while others seem to just be jerks. In terms of female stereotypes about leadership, women are supposed to be stern, cold, and virtually unreachable, neither by her colleagues nor by potential suitors.
However, these required characteristics for being a leader seem to be changing with time. Nowadays, leaders are often the ones who joke a lot and try to keep an upbeat atmosphere in the team. If you want to know more about becoming a leader in our modern age, be sure to read this article about 5 Secrets to Leadership Success in the Age of Digital Disruption.
So, who do you want to be: a cold-blooded businessman or a down-to-earth boss? It's really up to you to decide, but you should keep in mind that this decision will ultimately influence all of your choices in the future.
2. Select People Who You Admire
The next step is perhaps one of the most entertaining ones. Once you have a general idea of what kind of leadership voice you want to have, you need to find examples of this very leadership voice.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don't necessarily need to have only one role model. In fact, the opposite is true. By selecting different people who you admire, you will then be able to model your own leadership style around their best traits. You might have only two or three idols, but the list can go on to dozens.
To find the people you admire, look in different places. These can be industry professionals, celebrities, businessmen, or even your own friends and family. A lot of people admire and look up to their parents.
Once you've selected these people, investigate and try to pinpoint what makes them who they are. Detect their leadership voices and understand how they created them. Try to read or watch their interviews, read their writing, and even talk to them if you have the chance.
3. Write Down Appealing Characteristics
After carefully analyzing the people you admire, take a piece of paper and write down their characteristics that appeal to you. These can be as small as their habit of jogging in the morning or as large as their philanthropy.
As identified in the article How to Develop These 7 Leadership Skills, there are seven key leadership skills that you will absolutely need:
- Communication: Communication is an integral part of almost any position, but it is vital to succeeding as a leader. Proper communication can go a long way, so you must make sure that your communication skills are topnotch. Listening to what your colleagues are saying is important, but getting information across to them is too.
- Mentorship: A great leader often plays the role of a mentor for his subordinates. Remember that by leading your company, you set an example to others who strive to achieve the same things you did. But being an example is not enough. In addition to that, make sure to provide your mentees with the information and knowledge they will find helpful. Tell them about your mistakes and let them learn from them.
- Humility: One of the key elements of appearing human is admitting your mistakes when you make them. Don't be afraid to acknowledge the fact that you are wrong as it will show your colleagues that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions.
- Delegation: Leaders are there not only to inspire others to do things but also to assign these things to each separate member. By delegating the various tasks to others, you show that you are able to see a bigger picture and make everyone work as a team.
- Problem Solving: Directly related to delegation is the leader's ability to solve problems. There will be many times when you have to find a way out of a complicated situation, but you must not panic. Instead, use your problem-solving skills to find a solution.
- Goal-Oriented: Being goal-oriented means not only having a concrete aim but also giving a purpose to your team members. A good leader will know what he wants to see in the future and will motivate others to work hard to achieve this.
- Innovation: Being a good leader doesn't mean using the same tricks every time. On the contrary, a good leader is someone who can adapt to the new circumstances, propose innovative ideas, integrate modern technologies, and be an overall progressive person.
4. Find Natural Strength In Yourself
By this point, you are probably exhausted and thinking of how you will be able to manage all of these aspects of your leadership voice. And so, this is the time to review everything you've written by this point and ask yourself whether you really need everything.
Obviously, pretending to be someone you are not is complete nonsense and will only make you unhappy. However, you can be a better version of yourself rather than someone else completely. By improving your good qualities, you will be able to become the best version of yourself you could ever be.
Try to find that inner natural strength. Think of what you have in common with those traits you wrote down. Then, set a goal for yourself on what sides you'd like to improve.
5. Test Your Leadership Voice
Now that you know who you want to be, it is time to train yourself and become this someone. Practice and get better at all of the traits you want to possess. Try out these 5 Weekly Self-Assessment Tips to Improve Your Leadership Skills.
Once you feel like you've improved, test your leadership voice in low-risk situations. For example, you can organize something with your friends or family. Don't go right in and try out your abilities on important business meetings or conferences until you are sure that you are ready to settle with the voice you've chosen.
All in all, finding your leadership voice is not as difficult as it seems. Once you know what you who you want to be like and understand your abilities, you will be able to conquer the world with only your charisma and leadership skills (and maybe a little bit of effort and dedication to your work). In any case, don't be afraid to experiment until you find something for yourself and settle down with it. The more confident you are about what you are doing, the more successful you will be.