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A good leader is not something you can become overnight. Like most other things in life, the process of developing your leadership skills takes practice. Even those who seem like natural leaders often needed to focus on developing their leadership style. Be purposeful in the following areas of your work life to develop your leadership skills and advance your career.

Don’t Be Afraid to Follow Others

Good leaders aren’t afraid to follow others or allow other people to take control. Practice this mentality by keeping an open mind and listening to the ideas of others. Don’t be intimidated by yielding control or listening to someone who disagrees with you. If you are open and engaging with your team, they will be more likely to respect you.

Encourage Others

Part of the job of a leader is to inspire their employees. You should encourage your team, and work together to solve problems. Remember to give credit where credit is due. Praise your coworker when they do a great job. If someone is struggling, offer advice and guidance. They also might just want someone to listen to them and share some words of wisdom and encouragement.

Seek to encourage others to act. Leaders don’t achieve results alone, but they accomplish task through others. Your team needs your help and encouragement in order to collaborate and solve problems.

Model Good Behavior

Work on your leadership skills by modeling positive behavior and setting a good example for others. Good leaders aren’t afraid to go first before asking their employees to implement behaviors. Remember that actions speak louder than words, and people are more likely to remember what you did rather than what you said.

Take On More Responsibility

Leaders have more responsibility than other employees. One way to develop your leadership skills is to take on more projects. Of course, you shouldn’t agree to take on more than you can handle! Growth requires you to leave your comfort zone and take initiative.

You should always aspire to learn new things. This will help you expand your breadth of knowledge, and prepares you for whatever challenges may arise in the future.

Becoming a good leader does not happen quickly or naturally. Instead of waiting until you become a leader to develop your skills, you should work on being purposeful about setting an example for others, and taking on more responsibility. Be intentional about becoming a leader who encourages others and works hard to solve workplace problems.