It’s said that “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Leadership classes and workshops can be extremely helpful in honing your skills, but some people are just born with it. Continuing your education and refining how you lead is a great idea, even if leadership comes naturally to you. However, knowing and identifying that you’re a natural leader can be helpful when making important career decisions. That being said, how can you be sure that you are a natural-born leader? Here are three telltale signs.
You have a vision for the future.
A natural-born leader doesn’t need to be told what the world should look like because they already have a clear vision. Working with a team towards a future goal is one of the most natural qualities a leader can have. You can’t teach someone to have a drive—this comes from a truly personal desire for betterment.
Although natural-born leaders don’t have a crystal ball, they should be able to plan wisely for the future of their company or team. According to Mark Wiseman—a global investment manager and a business executive—a natural leader understands that making business decisions, especially financial decisions, should be made with the long-term in mind. Even in moments of global financial turmoil, in the long-term, if you keep your investments on track, you’ll still come out in a desirable place in the end.
Having a step by step plan in order to get to that final goal—whether it’s financial or creative—is also a habit of natural-born leaders. A vision is great, but unless you know how to navigate to that final destination, you’ll get lost along the way. Don’t be afraid to speak your goals into existence.
You know your limits.
A natural-born leader knows their limits. A great leader knows when to ask others for their expert opinion and when to delegate work in order to lighten the load. Poor leaders think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. On the contrary, asking for help shows investment in what’s happening to your community.
It’s impossible to be an expert on everything. Historically, that’s why the President of the United States has a Cabinet. The Cabinet is a group of people who are experts in departments like Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, and Homeland Security to name a few. The president can’t be everywhere at once, and there’s not enough time in the day to research all aspects of American life. Therefore, he has a group of trusted individuals to consult on such matters. A natural-born leader picks truly experienced people who are able to overlook bipartisan issues to guide the president towards a decision that will truly benefit the country.
You listen and are open to change.
A natural-born leader knows that he or she isn’t always going to be right. They also know that what was once the correct decision might not stay that way under all circumstances. Natural born leaders have the ability to be flexible even in difficult times and situations. A natural-born leader is able to set aside ego for the good of the people.
As the CEO of the Carlsberg Group said, “if I don’t meet people, I won’t get to know what they think. And if I don’t have a finger on the pulse of the organization, I can’t lead effectively.” He was willing to step down from a corner office on the twentieth floor to a more accessible location on a lower floor with an open floor plan so he could communicate with and listen to his employees. The corner office is nice, but at what cost? A natural-born leader can easily answer that question: success about more than the individual.