You have big ideas and talent but may perceive that no one recognizes them. You may think that have to do act differently to get acknowledged in your field, but standing out as a leader also requires a mindset shift. If you want to avoid being lost in the crowd, here are four tips to help you shift your mind to increase your influence.
1. Remember, your external results are reflective of your mind.
The very first step is to accept is that your current results are reflecting your mind. It may be easier to blame others for your lack of success, but that leaves you powerless to change your situation. The mind tends to project the problem externally in a clever way to keep you in the status quo. You are not a leader because somewhere inside of you, you do not want to be or do not want to do what it takes to become one.
2. Stop waiting for permission to lead.
Many entrepreneurs are waiting for their time to lead as if leadership comes with paying your dues over time. Waiting to be recognized by peers or even your staff as a leader is just going to reinforce your fear that you are not seen as a leader right now.
When I first started my business I wanted to be recognized. I created false milestones that would be an indicator that I had permission to lead. I thought I would get there when my first book was published, or when I was first interviewed on television, or when I made my first million. After I hit each milestone, I still did not feel like I was "there" yet no matter how successful I became.
When you accept that you already made it and give yourself permission, you can start to lead with power. Once this occurs, it will feel as though the world has suddenly noticed you and you finally see a reflection of the real true leader in you.
3. Risk being disruptive.
One reason why many business owners fail to lead is that they are afraid of causing a disruption, whether in their industry or their company. They want to make big leaps but are too cautious and do not want to hurt feelings or appear too competitive.
We are social creatures and it is in our nature to follow the crowd, stay with the herd mentality and not make waves so that we can remain in the tribe. A leader has to be willing to push themselves, their staff, their branding and change things up in order to make larger gains in revenue and market share. Most importantly, she must be willing to face the fear that arises when she shakes up the status quo.
Instead of following the crowd and copying your competition, you make a splash by being different. Standing out may feel risky, but high risk brings large rewards.
4. Learn to listen.
One of the best qualities of a great leader is not to just drive their own ideas but learning to listen to customers, staff, and advisors. You can only lead if you have faithful followers. If you listen to your ideal customers, they will tell you exactly where you naturally stand out.
Pay attention to the feedback they are telling you, especially why they love your product or service and what makes you unique. You may find it difficult to see this yourself from the inside and the customer feedback can show you gaps and opportunities you can use to grow the company.
Listening to our customers helped our business tremendously because we were able to craft a unique message and establish our positioning to attract the right people to our business. I learned early on that I could not listen to everyone or I would become a chameleon, not a leader. A good leader knows who to listen to and who to ignore because the right feedback feels aligned with your authentic mission.
You can become a great leader by first acknowledging yourself and what you accomplished so far. Most people never even try, so you are already leading the pack. In a world where everyone is falling in line, a leader is an inspiration to remind us to stand out and make a difference.