I recently spoke to one hundred college student athletes about leadership and being a good influence in their communities. I shared with them the importance of being a leader in their own life to be able to lead others well. These students are leaders and captains of their various sport teams and I was asked to be a guest speaker at a leadership conference and to offer encouragement and practical tools in order for them to be the best leaders they can be.
To be a leader to others you must care for yourself, lead your own life, always be learning and growing or what I like to refer to as personal development, have a mentor, and surround yourself with like-minded people.
Below are insights I shared with them about how to influence others in their community:
- Be mindful or aware of others. You don’t know what they are dealing with or going through. Check in with them. Be observant of others and their behavior and demeanor.
- Be respectful of others around you. You want to be respected, so treat others the way you want to be treated. I know I grew up hearing this, and it’s true. And if we all do this, the world would be a better place.
- Lead by example. The best way to influence others is to be a servant leader. This requires sacrifice and being humble. Some of the best leaders I know are not overly voice-tress. They provide a space for others to speak. They are good listeners.
- Be a good listener. Don’t feel you need to voice your opinion.
- Lift others up. Encourage. This could be as simple as telling someone they did a good job. Or encouraging them to keep going.
- Think of others first and not how you can benefit. When you put others before yourself and serve, there is so much joy that comes because this not only benefits the person, but you and the team as a whole.
- Build relationships with those in your community- your different sports teams. “To Lead yourself, use your head, to lead others, use your heart.” Create that connection with others and they will follow and want to follow you. (John Maxwell 21 irrefutable Laws of Leadership)
To learn more about these topics, have a listen on my podcast True Identity.
- Focusing on alone time and self care – “Sacred Space”
- Guidance for personal development – “Personal Development”
- How and why you need a mentor – “Why You Need a Mentor”
- Surrounding Yourself with Like-minded people – “Surround Yourself with People Who Make you Better”