How to fully realise your potential as a leader

Kasia Gospos looks off to the side, holding a planner in hand.

In case you haven’t noticed, we here at LH Agenda are all about empowering women to see themselves as leaders. We believe everyone, including you, especially you, has strong potential as a leader. And we also believe that you need to invest time in developing key leadership traits to realise that full potential. In this article, we share our tips for how to start thinking of yourself as a leader plus where to focus your efforts to become a great leader.

Thinking of yourself as a leader

Too busy with your personal life to have a professional life? Our friend, award-winning hi-tech sales executive and motivational speaker, Becca Powers says that you can shift your perspective and open up new opportunities for yourself by using the word ‘and’ instead of ‘or’.

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“For example, instead of thinking ‘I am a mother or a CEO’, a woman can say ‘I am a mother and a CEO’. This simple language switch helps eliminate the guilt or shame that often comes with prioritizing one aspect of life over the other. It also opens the possibility for work-life integration, rather than work-life balance, which is often a more realistic and attainable goal.”

Embrace space for your life in all the areas that light you up and feel your power expand! You can read more of Becca’s article “The power of AND” here.

Planning exercise: realising your potential as a leader

Sometimes all we need to start a phase of growth is some self-reflection and self-realisation. The Make Your Mark Leadership Checklist is a quick and easy way to find out where you excel, and where you need to focus to fully realise your potential as a leader.

Use this as a simple way to review yourself and steer you forward toward your goals!

  • Are you doing what you love?
  • Are you frequently stepping out of your comfort zone to grow?
  • Are you managing your time and aware of where your energy is spent?
  • Are your interactions with others positive and uplifting?

If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, you’ve got a little work to do. It’s ok, we can all stand to improve! Now it’s time to ask yourself, “What can I do to work on this?” Ask your partner, friends or colleagues for feedback. Journal privately about it. Book yourself in for mentoring or coaching. We guarantee that the time you invest in improving in these areas will do wonders for your leadership and the positive impact you have on others!

“An amazing thing happens when you get honest with yourself and start doing what you love, what makes you happy. Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You stop merely looking forward to special events. You begin to live in each moment and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy. You move fluidly, steadily, calm and graceful. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born.”
~ Jes Allen

Our manifesto – key leadership traits to develop

Our manifesto includes six qualities we observe in high-performing leaders – our inspiration! These qualities are:

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  • Passion
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Confidence
  • Determination
  • Kindness

How would you score yourself in each of these areas? Are they traits you already have or can you identify ones that you need to work on?

Here’s a challenge for you… Plan an activity or task to work on each of these traits in the next month. E.g. Take an idea you’re excited about to your boss, colleagues or community group, or offer to mentor a friend or workmate in an area that you’re skilled in.

You can see how our manifesto is incorporated into our Make Your Mark collection here.

Now it’s over to you!

Becoming a great leader rarely happens overnight. Leadership is a multi-faceted skill that requires self-awareness and time spent learning and practising. The first step to realise your potential as a leader is thinking of yourself as a leader while embracing both your personal and professional lives. It then takes some reflection on where you excel and where you need to improve, along with making space for the things you love doing. And finally, to become a great leader, follow in the footsteps of our inspirations and constantly work on developing these six key leadership traits: passion, creativity, innovation, confidence, determination and kindness. Everything you need to get started on your leadership journey is inside you!

This article includes one of the amazing exercises in our Make Your Mark journal, a self-coaching tool developed in collaboration with highly-respected leadership experts. If you are looking to improve as a leader, this journal is your business, career and life coach in one. Click here to learn more.