Being a leader takes more than just being born with a natural talent to lead. You need to have the drive to learn more than what you know and the determination to always be better than you are today.

Most people just let things happen. Even if things could be better, they stick to the system. Leaders do not idly stand by, they do something. Anyone who has the desire to create change can be a leader. But you need to have more than the desire, you need to possess and strive to achieve the qualities of a real leader in order to successfully initiate the change you want. Change must start from you.

We must first define what leadership is before we can get to the essence of being a true leader. Leadership is all about respect and never about fear. It is about bringing together different-minded and diversely-skilled individuals and driving them towards a common goal. The question is, how does one achieve this?

To be a leader, you need to have a clear sense of purpose. You must know where you are now and where you want to go. You must not only know the vision, mission, goals and objectives of the organization, but must also know how you want things done, how to get things done, who to approach, how the system works and how to work your way around the company.

Real leaders lead by example. If you create an impression of having command of your environment, your subordinates will follow suit. You should exemplify the qualities you require from your team.

To get things done, you need to provide instructions and communicate goals. It is easier to communicate goals when your team trusts you and your abilities. Gain the trust and confidence of your colleagues by always acting respectfully. Relationships that are built on respect will grow into strong, reliable partnerships that will eventually give you a team of individuals that trusts you and your abilities. Once you have earned the trust of your colleagues, you will find it easier to communicate goals and impart strategies and actions to take. Leaders get trust and entrust directives towards their subordinates. They are not afraid to delegate and, more importantly, they know when to delegate and whom to entrust certain responsibilities to.

To be a good leader, your judgment calls also have to be shrewd as well. Your decisions should not only be perceptive and marginally precise but should also be swift and timely. Your company and your subordinates or team will come to rely on your judgment, depending on the soundness of the decisions you have made.

Good leaders do not emerge overnight; they undergo years of practice and even a few mistakes along the way. When taking on the responsibilities of a leader, always remember that leading is not just about one person; it is about making wise use of a pool of resources, including your team who each have unique talents to contribute to the greater whole.

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