Many people believe leadership is something that's conferred along with a title or attained when you direct a team of people, but true leadership is never about authority or power. It's about helping others grow, and that's something anyone can do.
If it's your desire to influence and have an impact on others, you have leadership qualities. And if you can inspire people to do something they thought they couldn't do, demonstrate how the impossible is possible, believe in someone when they didn't believe in themselves, you're already a leader.
People don't set out to be great leaders, they set out to make a difference. It's never about the role or the title, but about influencing others, helping and supporting them.
Here are seven questions to help you gauge your own leadership:
1. Do you act with integrity? Leaders allow their good character to speak for them. If you are the type of person who is consistent in your actions, values, methods, and principles-regardless of who's watching-and if people know what say you do you will do, and do it to the highest standard, you're a leader.
2. Are you a great communicator? Great leaders are great communicators. Are you the type of person who likes to share information? To keep people informed and make sure they have all the guidance they need? Do you communicate with openness, candor, and honesty, and without drama or wordiness? You're a leader.
3. Do you have confidence? Confidence doesn't always come easy. It's what you do with your confidence that makes you a leader. If you have the ability to inspire, engage, and empower others, helping them realize they can do things they thought were impossible, you're a leader.
4. Are you decisive? One of the most basic duties of any leader is to make decisions. True leaders aren't afraid to make tough calls when circumstances require it. If you are the kind of person who can gather information, make informed decisions quickly without hesitation or second-guessing, and make it work, you're a leader.
5. Do you have a courageous attitude? A true leader is not afraid to take risks. The bigger the risk, the bigger the payoff. If you're bold about taking chances, if you can see opportunities, and if you're willing to start difficult conversations, you're a leader.
6. Are you a problem solver? Let's be honest: much of life is problem solving. There's always something to figure out, some difficulty to resolve, some circumstance to correct. Most people spend their time complaining about problems, but leaders view a problem not as a distraction but as a source of improvement and new opportunities. If you find yourself problem solving, you're a leader.
7. Are relationships important to you? The foundation of true leadership is the quality of your relationships. Relationships are built on a deep understanding and appreciation of others. They require the capacity to connect on a deep and personal level with others and penetrate beyond the surface with people. When you make relationships important, you're a leader.
No matter what title you have, no matter where you work, or who you work with-if you're influencing others and making change happen, you're a leader.