Najeeb Al Awadi's Blog

Develop yourself as a leader

Posted on: June 1, 2010

I will be speaking at the Australian University in Kuwait to the beloved students. I thought of sharing my brief with you. My intention is to speak to them for 30 minutes about leadership. I don’t want to give them a usual speech from a leader to its audience. I want to get them to be passionate and I want to be contagious and pass on my skills to the future leaders and hope to find new leaders in my audience.

Much of my professional life has been in the direction of leading. It started during the school days at university, with my roommates, with my classmates, with friends and colleagues.

Leadership skills have now been universally recognized as the key ingredient. In management, a good manager is by definition a leader. Equally, a good leader will also be a manager.

Is it possible to develop your own abilities as a leader?

My answer loudly is: Yes.

One word of caution: nobody can teach you leadership. It is something you have to learn. You learn principally from experience.

You will most probably work for five to six organizations in your career, and none of them will be quite as committed to your long-term development as you are. Can you think now how you will be able to develop yourself as a leader?

There are no set rules, or set systems that you can rely on. You as a person are a unique with a desire and a distinctive path of leadership in front of you. Nobody can teach you the way: you have to find it yourself. If it was so easy a path to follow, a lot more people in leadership roles or positions would be showing their leadership skills.

All I can do here is to share with you some practical suggestions and reflections that you may find useful to accept/adopt and implement in your lifestyle to encourage yourself.

Be Prepared

The door into leadership has “Confidence” written upon it. You have to have the want to be a leader. It begins with a willingness to take charge. If you hate the idea of taking responsibility then leadership is not for you. Remain an individual contributor.

The more prepared you are, the more confident you become. Remember, as a leader or leader-to-be always look confident, even when you may not be feeling it from inside. People will tend to take you at face value.

Be Proactive

Organizations do have a vested interest in your development as a leader. Because they need such leaders. Share with them your hopes, intentions, and ambitions.

Take courses, read, stimulate, and take up any such offers to grow.

Be Reflective

Most leaders are action-centered and fairly well immersed in their work, not least because they tend to love it.  Of course you need to withdraw from time to time to take a helicopter overview about the organization. This reflection should include your own role performance as a leader. List things that are going well and identify some specific areas for self-improvement.

Always look for feedback which is a bit of a guidance mechanism in a rocket. If you receive it with an open mind, looking for the truth in it, it will guide you on your path to excellence in leadership.

The only way for you to move from being a good leader – where you are now by any means – to becoming a very good leader, even an excellent or great leader, is by aiming higher.

Final word, develop yourself day after day, be confident. Use all sources around you, superiors, colleagues, team members, friends, and family. Use them to improve your leadership.

It does take time, for there is no such thing as instant leadership. Therefore, be patient with yourself. Aim to take a step forward each day. Do something differently tomorrow as a result of reading or attending a speech or a short workshop. Even if it’s a small step, you will be on your way.

Try again and again; it will help you in moving forward. For me as a true leader, I believe that you should be a warrior. Be a happy warrior to make it happen.

I will share with you my dear readers my findings and thoughts about them after my speech.

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