Let’s define personal power. A short definition is “the influence and authority an individual has over his or her followers.” The actual power you exhibit is controlled by your followers, not you.  

But you can become a person worth following. 

That’s on you. 

Below are four key traits that leaders worth following have. It’s your responsibility to grow in these areas in order to become an effective leader.  

Key 1: Be clear in intention, vision, and speech. 

To lead well, you must possess the ability to focus. You must be able to access where you are and where you are headed. Here are five steps to make that happen: 

  1. Set goals and reevaluate them often. 
  2. Have a clear vision that is simple to communicate to others.  
  3. Be decisive. Learn to make quick decisions and stick by them. 
  4. Focus on results, not activities. Being busy can actually be a distraction from doing what is most important.  
  5. Speak with clarity. In order for others to follow you, they have to understand where you are headed. Clear communication is key in accomplishing this.  

Key 2: Strive for excellence. 

To be the best in your field – to be considered an expert – you must first put in the hard work. Excellence yields opportunities. Improvement follows hard work. Each of us was born with a purpose. It’s up to you to become the champion you were born to be!    

What are you waiting for?  

No one but you can put in the work necessary to reach your fullest potential. 

Key 3: Develop and use common sense. 

Train your mind to see the natural consequences and results of decisions. The following are a few ways you can begin to develop common sense.  

  1. Think things through. Ask hard questions before making decisions and know what questions to ask. (Read: 4 questions to ask about any business opportunity.) 
  2. Listen to your intuition. With experience comes wisdom.     
  3. Read a lot. Soak in the wisdom and lessons learned the hard way from others.  
  4. Learn from setbacks. They aren’t failures; they are simply lessons to help you get it right the next time.  

Key 4: Learn empathy and consider others. 

Relationships determine success. As a leader, you must develop people skills and learn to hear where others are coming from. If you cannot hear them clearly you cannot lead them well. Why? Because you will be unable to communicate your vision to them. Leading is about selling a vision that others adopt as their own.   

We’ve all heard the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. But true leadership is about listening to the needs and dreams of others, developing relationships, and casting a vision. 

Leaders worth following are not only in it for themselves. They are actually casting a vision to make the world better. They give big and are people who genuinely care about the success of others.  

You Must Earn Personal Power 

Personal power is not yours for the taking. It’s something you must earn.  

You must: 

  • Be clear in intention, vision, and speech.  
  • Strive for excellence.  
  • Develop and use common sense.  
  • Learn empathy and consider the needs and dreams of others. 

If you do all of this well, then you will be a leader worth following!