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A true leader brings people together.

We were recently sent this image by a very good friend of ours. It is a great image that highlights what a great leader really is.

There are many great leaders throughout history and many others who have led for their own personal gain, rather than for the great of the organisation and people that they represent.

We all have experienced (both good and bad) great managers and leaders.

Leadership is difficult, not everyone can handle being a leader, it comes with high demand, high pressure, and how you react has an influence on those who look up to you. Every decision you make has an influence on those around you, there will always be those who disagree with you, how you manage those people shows how effective a leader you are. You will make enemies, jealous people who want your success, who will try and halt your progress, you have to learn how to handle these people and not let them affect your goals.

Stepping up to a leadership position is something that should be applauded, especially those who volunteer their services. But not everyone is a good leader, not everyone can handle the pressure. As a leader, you should always encourage healthy debate, encourage those around you to have input into your organisation, develop those around you. But most of all, you should not let personal grudges or your ego get in the way of your leadership. Do not go into leadership to get revenge, do not abuse your power for your own personal gain.

There is a difference between negative and positive energy:

We all suffer from negative energy; when things are not going well; when decisions we have made are not well received, great leaders engage with those that they represent, listen to the people, engage with them and if needed change their decisions, change their path. Explain their decisions, talk through issues and learn to agree to disagree.

When you are in charge of a team or an organisation, your decisions need to be of a positive nature, you must remember that in many cases, the dissent from those you represent is not personal, everyone has an opinion and you must learn to engage and listen to everyone. This is not a skill that everyone can master, not all appointed leaders succeed. For many, the power that comes with leadership proves too much and they alienate the people that they represent and end up leaving the role. We have all experienced good and bad managers in our working lives, sometimes personalities clash, handling these situations is a key skill.

Leadership is difficult, you will never please everyone, there will always be problems but there can be great rewards. How you handle these situations will define how your leadership is received. Sometimes, you need to make hard decisions for the benefit of the organisation, these decisions will upset people, you must make the decisions, but they should not be for your own personal gain, to settle grudges, or to satisfy your ego. You must remember the physical and mental health of those with who you are arguing. Be mindful of their situation.

Putting people down, arguing, defamatory comments, blocking people, false accusations all lead to further pressure. Comments and decisions made in anger are not the correct ones, take time to stop and think. If you have a goal, continue along the path, listen to all of the voices both positive and negative, engage with them, if they have a difference of opinion, acknowledge it and move on. But most important of all, lift up the people that support you, encourage them.

Learning from people who have been in your position, having a mentor who can advise you, learning from your mistakes is something we can all do. You must also remember the effect that being a leader can have on your own physical and mental health and that of your family. If you are questioning yourself, then you are not failing, it just might not be the correct time or situation for you to be in right now. You may need further training, guidance, or a change of organisation. You can change the situation, you are in control. If you are feeling pressure and it is affecting your mental and physical health, then consider a change. Take a step back, Halt and analyse the situation.

It is not easy being a leader, it can be very demanding on your time, you need to be motivated and understand that not everyone will be on your side, not everyone will agree with you. There will be difficult days, days when you achieve a great deal, days when you are thanked, and days when you are criticised. This is all part of being a leader. But do not take it personally.

If you want to be a great leader, you must look at yourself, ask yourself if you can do it, do you have the energy, the enthusiasm, and the dedication that is needed? We all learn every day, sometimes from a source that we had not anticipated, we can all take inspiration from others, but we must look at our personal situation and decide if it is the right time to step up or to continue, think of ourselves and our family.

Motiv8andInspir8's11-step program 'Halt2Proceed' is a program from which we can all learn.

Utilising the 11 steps and implementing them in our everyday lives, looking at the decisions that we make, and making changes can help leaders to establish themselves. Taking the time to Halt, analyse and then Proceed will ensure that your leadership skills can be developed.

Not everyone makes a great leader, not everyone wants to be a leader, but for those that aspire, we all can learn and develop our skills every day. Listening, changing and admitting mistakes, changing our decisions are part of that skill set. Moving forward, adapting, and changing, we all face situations where we change, let Halt2Proceed help you along your journey.

Great leaders adapt to the situations they find themselves in.

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