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How to Answer the Call of Leadership

Are you considering a leadership role? Are you wondering if you’re ready to answer the call? Are you nervous about your abilities and you’re struggling to make the transition? Are you wondering if this is the right path for you? If so, We’ve been there and we feel you!


Standing tall and leaping into leadership is not an easy decision to make, especially not if you’re an introvert. However, if you understand the point of leadership and you have what it takes, you can go on to accomplish incredible things.


Let's talk about the lessons you must learn before you leap into leadership and help you understand if this is the right move for you. We will also provide a few strategies for introverts that will help you find success. Answering the call of leadership can be incredibly rewarding and it’s not something you should dismiss out of hand out of fear of failure.


Woman wearing glasses standing at the forefront with a team of people working at a table behind her.

What exactly is a leader?


When we think of leaders, we often think of someone who can give others direction and mobilize them towards one goal. The characteristics of a leader are important and the impact they have can vary a lot from person to person.

What we want you to understand is that being a good leader has nothing to do with how extroverted or introverted you are. It’s more about the ability to think about the big picture and the capacity to influence others positively so that vision can be brought to life.


Good leaders have a good sense of the state of the world and they can find unexploited opportunities and identify dangers that may be lurking in the dark. That knowledge is key and they leverage it to determine what things deserve their focus and attention.

Leaders are also able to communicate their vision clearly and get other people to see their view so that they are motivated, involved, and inspired to be a part of the effort.


How to start seeing yourself as a leader

A woman smiling at herself in a handheld mirror

Most people don’t think of themselves as leaders because they think of their contribution in terms of the technical skills they bring to the table. People think of themselves as engineers, marketers, managers, etc., but they don’t think of themselves as leaders.


However, when you switch your mindset and start looking at your contributions in terms of being able to guide people towards something new, you will be able to see yourself as a leader.


Making a conscious effort to influence someone or a group of people will allow you to recognize your own ability. It will start to feel like a genuine and legitimate part of yourself, something you’re good at. In turn, you will start to internalize the identity of a leader.


What you need to learn about leadership


A man reading a book while drinking from a yellow cup

If you want to leap into leadership, you must learn a few important lessons about it. The first thing you need to understand is why you want to be a leader to begin with? Instead of thinking about it as the next logical step in your career, you should really look inside yourself and determine what being a leader means to you.


Everyone’s path to leadership and motivations are different, but it’s definitely a commitment and a craft. You will learn a lot about yourself based on the path you decide to take on the way to answer the call, trust us!


The second thing you need to understand is that leaders need other leaders. If you don’t have someone to turn to, leadership can be lonely and more challenging than it needs to be. Having a leader is not about reporting to someone, it’s about having a soundboard and someone who provides support when you need it most.

Having the support of someone who knows what it’s like to be in leadership will allow you to develop your own fortitude and commitment. Not to mention they have so much useful insight! Having access to that will get you through the rough parts of being a leader.


Lastly, you need to understand that leadership takes practice. It’s a craft that you will continuously develop and that’s very rewarding, but it’s a big commitment. As a leader, you are in the position to provide the support others need to realize their potential. With that in mind, you must learn to connect with all kinds of people, identify what makes them tick, and be approachable.


 

10 leadership tips for introverted people


Being introverted or shy doesn’t mean you can’t be a good leader. Sure, it makes it a bit tricky, but you know how to get things done and you know what you’re doing. What you need are a few strategies to help you manage your shyness and even leverage it to create your own approach to leadership.


1. Learn to manage your stamina


If you’re an introverted person, you have to push yourself to be involved with your team. However, you won’t be able to do that if you don’t learn how to manage your stamina and energy throughout the day. Burning yourself out will make you even more withdrawn, so don’t overload yourself and always make time for reflection.


2. Choose good role models


In the previous section, we mentioned how important it is to have a leader to turn to for support. You must choose good role models and communicate with them about what you feel is holding you back when you’re having a rough time. Talking about the behaviors that you admire from your leaders will give you insight into how you can emulate them and become a lot more comfortable in your role.


3. Have one-on-one encounters with people


It’s not a secret that introverted people do a lot better in one-on-one scenarios. If that’s the case for you, meet with people one-on-one so you can build your comfort level. Soon enough, you will be able to feel comfortable in group settings. Additionally, one-on-one meetings will help you empower people a lot more effectively and build trust.


4. Develop your skills daily


As we mentioned before, being a good leader requires practice because leadership is a craft you are constantly working on. Developing your skills daily is a big part of that and the more secure you are in those skills, the more confident and competent you will feel as a whole. So, learn to delegate, practice having effective performance development conversations, etc., by working on these skills you are also working on your confidence.


5. Leverage your strengths


This is a really good strategy because instead of focusing on your weaknesses, you will be able to build your confidence by leveraging your strengths. Identify what you’re good at and integrate it into your management style. For example, if you’re more comfortable in one-on-one meetings, use that approach to your advantage.


6. Embrace who you are


Some of the most successful and effective leaders out there are introverted just like you. How did they manage that? Well, they embraced who they are and used that to develop a leadership style based on their unique abilities and strengths.


Being your authentic self is more powerful than trying to overcome the parts of yourself you feel don’t have value. Embracing who you are will permit team members to do the same and it will also increase trust and engagement.


7. Boldly jump into projects


Some of the best leaders in the world are measured by their actions, not their words. If you’re an introvert, you don’t have to prove yourself with words, you can prove yourself by boldly jumping into projects and bringing your team with you.


It will show them how strong and confident you are, which makes it easier for you to delegate to your team because they will respect you and what you’re trying to accomplish.


8. Don’t work alone


Learning to work with your team is very important. You may be shy, but you can’t do the best job you’re capable of, if you try to do it alone. Every team member under your wing brings something valuable and unique to the table, so you need to be able to tap into that.


Work with your team and you’ll find shyness is easier to overcome when you’re all collectively focused on one goal.


9. Step out of your comfort zone


Believe it or not, shy leaders, actors, comedians, speakers, managers, etc., are a lot more common than you think. However, their shyness is not always obvious because they are constantly working outside of their comfort zone and they own that.


They understand that the overwhelming and anxious feelings that come up when you’re about to free-fall into something new, are temporary. Once you leap, you will find you have what it takes to do what needs to be done and succeed.


10. Remember people want you to lead them


People want to be led and that’s something you always need to remember if you’re an introvert in a leadership position. Everyone under you trusts you, otherwise, you wouldn’t be where you are.


You have to step up and accept that responsibility, accept that you are capable and ready to shine, and lead your team to amazing accomplishments. Own it!



 

Successful leaders who were reluctant about leadership


We really want you to understand that being reluctant to answer the call of leadership is normal. Even if you are shy or introverted, you are still capable of doing amazing things. If you are a bit on the fence about standing tall and embracing leadership, it may help you to know that many people have been where you are.


They answered the call and they accomplished incredible things.


Albert Einstein was one of those people. He is one of the most recognized physicists in the history of the world and he was an introvert who enjoyed the solitude of a quiet life. In fact, he claimed that it stimulates the creative mind.


Bill Gates is another great example. He founded Microsoft, an extremely successful company, and he has become one of the richest people in the world. He has always been an introvert but he was able to see the benefits of that. As an introvert, he could just take time to himself and think about a difficult problem and come up with great ideas to get people motivated and make important decisions.


If you enjoy movies, you know who Steven Spielberg is. He is a highly successful director and producer. He has become one of the most influential people in Hollywood. Did you know that he was an introvert? Even so, he has been able to get the best out of some of the world’s most well-known actors and actresses and has made the connections necessary to build an empire for himself.



A smiling young girl walking along a bridge


There are many reasons why reluctant leaders find so much success. One of the main ones is that they choose to answer the call of leadership for a purpose that’s bigger than themselves or their shyness. They have a compelling reason to do what they do and that’s stronger than their own self-interest.


As a result, they don’t become entitled people with a bloated sense of self-importance. Quite the contrary; they stay humble and they can put themselves in other people’s shoes and understand where everyone is coming from no matter what their rank is.

Additionally, reluctant leaders develop their own leadership style because they don’t care about power or impressing others. They care about accomplishing something meaningful and they want to feel authentic while they do that. They identify their strengths and use them to their advantage at every turn.

These leaders are also committed to self-development because they are aware of the skills they are missing and they are willing to practice and master them. Not to mention, they support others to do the same because they enjoy watching people succeed.


Leaping into leadership is a big decision, but it can also be incredibly rewarding when you’re doing it for all the right reasons. Stand tall and answer the call! You know what you have to offer and how much of a difference you can make. That is the point of leadership! Now go out there and make a difference!



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