There are two ways to develop your leadership approach – copy someone else or be an original.
Copying involves identifying an existing leader you admire and respect, and trying to replicate their actions and behaviours. This can be a good starting point if the person you’re trying to emulate is an effective leader. Much can be learned from observing and copying the best leadership practices of others. To a great extent that is how we learn. Copying can also lay a foundation from which to further build and develop your skills but it’s not you being your own best self. It may make you look just like a… copy.
Being an original is harder and more risky but ultimately more rewarding. When you become an original leader, you are yourself – genuine, authentic and real. Your natural strengths and abilities are what make you effective. With increased self-awareness, effort and ongoing refinement, you strengthen your leadership muscles and refine the skills that are uniquely and inherently yours. You also develop your own leadership voice and style and are able to speak with credibility, originality and have maximum impact and influence.
Do these things to improve your originality as a leader:
Work from, and further develop, your natural strengths.
- Leveraging strengths lets you be your best self and keeps you in your wheelhouse.
Capitalize on your passion and core values.
- ALL the best leaders draw upon, and lead from, their most deeply held beliefs and values – that’s what makes them credible and appealing.
Push the limit.
- If you feel uncomfortable, you’re on the right track. Big impact and influence happens when you’re stepping out and initiating change. Those that don’t are called “followers”.
Imitation may be the highest form of flattery however becoming an original is the only way to truly stand out and be someone that others will follow.
Be the best possible YOU because everyone else is already taken.