What, exactly, is a “leader?” and how do you get to be one? Are you a leader only because of certain skill sets you have learned? Does someone have to give you that title, or can you give the title to yourself merely by saying, “I am a leader”?
To answer these questions, I started to grow and step into my own leadership skills and in the past few years I have come to learn the difference between the way so-called leaders do things on social media as compared with everyone else. The difference I found were as follows.
Difference 1. Leaders Do What They Do Better Than Almost Everybody Else. What ever their field of study is, leaders perform to perfection. The way they perform their work comes effortlessly, and perform at a much higher level of perfection rarely, but they demonstrate an expertise that typically rises envy in others. They do the “unthinkable” and “impossible”. Although they don’t say it out loud, leaders seem to follow an old rule, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” Their outstanding performance can probably be closely connected to the next two items.
Difference 2. Leaders Know More About What They Are Doing Than Everybody Else. It’s easy to say that leaders got their knowledge from investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in their education. But getting an education is not what is important 🙂 it’s the “knowing” that counts. Example, a person can know more than most people about a particular skill and could qualify as a leader without having to invest large amounts of money.
Difference 3. Leaders Are Always Trying To Improve. There are those who look in the mirror and tell themselves, “You’re great,” but leaders look in the mirror and say, “You could be better.” Call that a difference in personal drive or attitude or motivation, but labels aren’t important. What’s important is that leaders are continuously pushing their efforts to learn more and practice more in order to get better at what they are doing without false modesty. These people actually believe that what they just did, which from other people’s point of view was amazing, could have actually been done better. And they will go home and study and practice so they will be better than the last. Essentially, where many so-called leaders would have come to believe that they have arrived some place, the real leaders believe that they have not arrived yet.
Difference 4. Leaders Can Replicate Performance. By replicate I mean consistency. Being able to do the same tasks, whether it be speaking, creating content, or marketing, over and over again to perfection. This is obviously the result of Difference 3 above. They have practiced to perform that skill using the right tools, no matter what it is. Consistency is one of the true signs of a leader.
Difference 5. Leaders Have a Plan. To my surprise, the so-called leaders vs the real leaders of today put in the same amount of energy in their work. However, the real leader’s efforts are moving them closer to a specific goals with a specific plan on how to achieve them in 3, 5, and 10 years from now. The so-called leaders are just spinning their wheels. Don’t get me wrong, the so-called leaders do have goals. But they are for the wrong reasons and only set short term goals. They may work hard, but they make little progress in the right direction.
Overall, you don’t have to become a leader because you have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars or because someone gave you a specific title. It’s the things you to today that make you a leader today. You are a leader when you act like one, and you stop being a leader when you stop acting like one.
To put this in perspective, realize that selling or team building is not simply doing what comes naturally in life. It’s more like a competitive athletic activity. In every situation there are specific things you must say or do to be successful. If you don’t do them right or frequently enough or fast enough, you don’t win.
Doing the right things with integrity and honesty, creates moments of truth, when the right thing must be done perfectly. Hardly any person has a one-of-a-kind product to sell, there may be one to ten people trying to sell their product/service/opportunity which they say is better than yours. Because customers are buying products every day, there is also a time limit for you to be successful.
You don’t have all the time in the world to convince a person that he or she should buy from you. If you wait too long, that person will buy from someone else.
One of my major secret weapons that has been responsible for my success in my business is me Pops. I got the chance to ask him, “If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out (or if they are stuck), what would it be?” and this was his answer: