Discovering Your Leadership Potential

October 26, 2012 — 23 Comments
Discovering Your Leadership Potential | Joseph Lalonde

Today, I am writing as a contributor to the Christian Writers Blog Chain. The theme for October is “Discovery.” If you are a Christian author or writer, be sure to check out Christianwriters.com to network with others.

One thing I truly believe is that everyone has leadership potential.

It’s not something you either have or don’t have. It’s a skill you can develop and discover along this journey of life.

Not everyone begins as a natural born leader. The good news is you’re able to develop and hone your leadership potential as you walk the path of a leader.

We find ourselves in various leadership positions without asking to be placed into the role.

It may be the day you find out you’re going to be a father. Or the time you see someone stranded along the road and decide to take action to help them. Or it may be when you’re promoted to the position of leadership for a job well done.

When you’re put into situations that call for you to lead, you begin to discover that you have it in you to perform.

What if you don’t find yourself in a situation like this? How can you discover your leadership potential?

  • Put yourself out there: Offer your service and skills to the world. Take the first step. When you do, you’re stepping into the role of a leader. Leaders take steps to move forward. If you’re moving forward, you’re leading.
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  • Take an assessment: There are plenty of leadership assessments that can help you discover your leadership potential and skills. Check out Strengths-Based Leadership or StandOut. These strengths assessments will give you great direction towards your leadership potential. Use what you discover from these tests to develop your leadership skills.
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  • Attend a leadership conference: Conferences are plentiful. You can pick or chose the ones you would like to attend. My favorite leadership conference has been Catalyst Atlanta. The lineup cannot be beat and you will leave with more information than you could know what to do with. More than that, be sure to connect with one or two other conference attendees. You may get more from meeting other attendees than the whole conference.

If you’re looking to discover your leadership potential, using these three methods are sure-fire ways to do so. You’ll discover yourself, you’ll build you leadership skills, and you’ll increase your leadership knowledge.

“Contrary to the opinion of many people, leaders are not born. Leaders are made, and they are made by effort and hard work.”
— Vince Lombardi

Question: How are you discovering your leadership potential? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

 

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  • http://chrisvonada.info/ chris vonada

    This is a very interesting thought Joe. I agree, especially if we focus on our individual gifts we can find opportunity to lead. I think of Andy Stanley in particular here. He’s an outstanding communicator. Surrounding himself with some other really talented individuals lead to North Point Community Church. Andy readily tells the story, in his new book “Deep and Wide,” of how the church started. There were a lot of folks behind him with vision and hard work, talents in other critical areas of leadership.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks Chris. There’s so many opportunities to lead out there, it’s insane. We need to keep our eyes open and be ready to lead when called upon.

  • http://www.tammyhelfrich.com/ Tammy Helfrich

    Great post. I completely agree. I’ve discovered this over the last few years. While I have not wanted the “leader title” at work, I have been a leader by my actions. I’ve really learned how important this can be both in the work environment as well as in other areas in my life. You can lead from wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      You know Tammy, that’s what leadership is all about. Leading by doing instead of leading by saying. 

  • http://tracibonney.com/ TraciB

    Very good points and pointers, Joe. I believe some people are more inclined to lead than others, but I agree that almost anyone can develop the skill set needed to lead.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks Traci!

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    I totally agree with you about everyone having leadership potential. I believe if we want to reach our leadership potential it requires growing and learning. Great post Joe! 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That it does Dan. Care to share any pointers on how you’re growing and learning?

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

        I recently attended a couple conferences(Ken Blanchard and Dave Ramsey) I’m always reading books and listening to podcasts and audio teachings.

        When it comes to growing toward our potential, consistency and being deliberate is essential.

        How about you? How have you recently been growing and learning?

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          That’s great. Always good to see the ways others are growing.

          Oh snap Dan. Asking the question back at me.

          Well, I recently attended the Catalyst Conference. They hosted leaders such as Andy Stanly, Jon Acuff, and more. I was also able to meet up with Kent Julian and he shared some of his wisdom with me. I’m trying to dig in deep to the book The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. It’s all about the decisions we make and making a concerted effort to do things the proper way.

          • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

             That’s how I role:)

            Great ways to grow bro! Going where leadership is taught and being around other leaders is so important. It’s something I’m working on becoming better at.

    • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

      Dan, you are definitely one of the resources I use for leadership growth.  Your blog brings so many valuable insights to an inspiring leader who is a work in progress.

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

         What a complement Jon, Thank you for reading and connecting with me. I learn a lot through your blog as well.

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    Great ideas on leadership, Joe.  I agree with much of what you’ve written even though I’m not one to follow the traditional path of leadership.  For me, I like to be a “silent leader,” for lack of a better term.  I want to lead others through writing, teaching, example, etc., without claiming to be in a position of leadership.  I still use my voice, I’m just not an appointed leader of any sort and prefer this style.  My hope is, that through time and effort, my influence will be broader than it may have ever been as a formal leader.  Does that make sense?

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Makes total sense Dan. In fact, I think that’s one of the strongest ways to be a leader. By showing, doing, and being without the fancy titles. Keep up the great work Dan.

      • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

        Thanks, Joe.  I just do my best.

  • http://twitter.com/LeadingEveryday Juan Cruz Jr

    Joe, one of the things I want to begin doing is attending leadership conferences. I am planning on attending the Leadercast by Chic-fil-a in May, God willing and money allowing. Also, I read a books on leadership, read great blogs like yours, Dan Black, Loren Pinilis,etc…. I also volunteer to take on projects at work. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      The Chic-Fil-A Leadercast is supposed to be amazing. If you go, please let us know what you got out of it. Mind to share some of the books you’re currently reading? It could help my readers and myself out.

    • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

      Juan these are great resources.  I attended the Maximum Impact Leadership Simulcast a few years ago (before it became the Leadercast by Chick-fil-A), and I read many great leadership blogs.

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I think it helps to plug into other leaders.  I have learned so much and been encouraged in my leadership by leaders who already surround me in the business world and in other arenas of my life (like church).

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I’m with you Jon. Connection strengthens and pushes us onward.

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