Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Awaken the Leader in You

Ten Easy Steps to Developing Your Leadership Skills
by Sharif Khan

1. Humility. Leadership starts with humility. To be a highly successful leader, you must first humble yourself like a little child and be willing to serve others. Nobody wants to follow someone who is arrogant. Be humble as a child – always curious, always hungry and thirsty for knowledge.

2. SWOT Yourself. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Start by listing all your Strengths including your accomplishments. Then write down all your Weaknesses and what needs to be improved. Proceed by listing all the Opportunities you see available to you for using your strengths. Finally, write down all the Threats or obstacles that are currently blocking you.

3. Follow Your Bliss. Regardless of how busy you are, always take time to do what you love doing. Being an alive and vital person vitalizes others. When you are pursuing your passions, people around you cannot help but feel impassioned by your presence. This will make you a charismatic leader.

4. Dream Big. If you want to be larger than life, you need a dream that’s larger than life. Small dreams won’t serve you or anyone else. It takes the same amount of time to dream small than it does to dream big. So be Big and be Bold!

5. Vision. Without a vision, we perish. If you can’t see yourself winning that award and feel the tears of triumph streaming down your face, it’s unlikely you will be able to lead yourself or others to victory. Visualize what it would be like accomplishing your dream. See it, smell it, taste it, hear it, feel it in your gut.

6. Perseverance. Victory belongs to those who want it the most and stay in it the longest. Now that you have a dream, make sure you take consistent action every day. I recommend doing at least 5 things every day that will move you closer to your dream.

7. Honor Your Word. Every time you break your word, you lose power. Successful leaders keep their word and their promises. You can accumulate all the toys and riches in the world, but you only have one reputation in life. Your word is gold. Honor it.

8. Get a Mentor. Find yourself a mentor. Preferably someone who has already achieved a high degree of success in your field. Don’t be afraid to ask. You’ve got nothing to lose.

9. Be Yourself. Use your relationships with mentors and your research on great leaders as models or reference points to work from, but never copy or imitate them like a parrot. Be yourself, your best self, always competing against yourself and bettering yourself, and you will become a first rate YOU instead of a second rate somebody else.

10. Give. Finally, be a giver. Leaders are givers. By giving, you activate a universal law as sound as gravity: ‘life gives to the giver, and takes from the taker.’

Sharif Khan ( is a freelance writer, speaker, and author of Psychology of the Hero Soul, an inspirational leadership book on awakening the hero within.


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