The most important and most difficult person to lead will always be yourself. It is the aspect of leadership that will require the most discipline, commitment and determination. However, it is also the aspect that will reap the greatest rewards.
One of the most effective methods of leadership is to lead by example. Everything in an organization starts at the top; as a leader, the tempo that you set will generally set the tone for how members within your organization interact with each other as well as others outside of your organization. This is a double-edged sword. It can give you great influence over creating a positive mentality within your organization.
There is no simple and fast rule here, but generally speaking, not only should you know the difference between what is right and what is wrong, but you should be practicing it and living your words each and every day. As a leader, you are on 24/7. There can be no transgressions. Conduct yourself with the same level of discipline and maturity that you expect from others and you will get it.
The first step to being able to influence or persuade anyone is to understand them. You need to understand what drives people’s desires, fears, needs, wants and why they react the way they do in a variety of situations. You need to be able to see a situation from perspectives other than your own.
Understanding other people is a tall order because everybody is different—but that’s what makes life worthwhile: our time on this planet would be mundane if we all had the same personalities, desires, values, and beliefs. And yet, even with our myriad distinctions, we all want the same things out of life: happiness, purpose, fulfillment.
The easiest way to get anybody to do anything is to make them want to do it. The key to motivating anybody to do anything is to speak in terms of their needs and wants. Communicate how this task will benefit them — i.e., “what’s in it for them.” Also, never order someone to do anything. Coercion is not leadership.