The difference between being a star and being a leader.

May 31 2019 | By contributing author Carissa Reiniger, Founder & CEO of Silver Lining Ltd

Great leadership is at the root of every company's success. You can have the best or most innovative product or service in the market, but if you're leading your team the wrong way, failure is almost always inevitable. That's why the most profound leadership lesson a business owner can learn is the difference between being a star and being a leader.
A true leader is one who creates and fosters stars. It's the only way to build a sustainable business that will live beyond you. So when you're ready to step down from being the star, here's how you can step up to being the leader your team and business deserves.

1. Have clarity of vision and intent.
Leaders don't get to where they want to be by accident – they all have clarity of vision and intent. They step into their leadership. They are on a mission. Leaders set goals, say them out loud, and then bring people along the journey to the finish line. Their ambitions are clear and organized, they know what they are trying to accomplish, and they make it happen. So often we live in a world of ambiguity, where we don't precisely name what we want the outcome to be, or, worse yet, we're not even sure what we're trying to get done. If you're going to build something significant and you want to lead a group of people along with you, you need to know where you are going, have full intent to get there, and be relentless in the journey. You'll be amazed at how far you go and who will come along with you.

2. Be a servant leader.
Being a leader is an incredibly humble act. But so often in the world of entrepreneurship, there's the impression that to be a successful CEO or business owner, we have to be charismatic, super savvy, and have an outgoing personality. Most of the time, leaders who are admired, respected, and incredibly successful are actually servants. They are there in the service of their team, their mission, their customers, the impact they want to have, and the world at large. To lead something in a powerful and significant way requires a deep sense of humility and service. Building your business is not about you – it's about you being in service of the business. Only then can you shift your view of yourself, your role, and of the company as a whole.

3. Live up to your true potential.
Part of being a great leader is that what everyone else around you is doing is irrelevant. Leadership is about living up to your own potential. Challenge yourself, but don't let the challenge be about whether you've done enough, are smart enough, or even rich enough. Instead, ask yourself: Am I living up to my potential? Am I doing everything that I am capable of doing? By no longer comparing yourself to others and holding yourself accountable, instead, you'll be fully stepping into leadership. Don't be shy to challenge those around you to do the same.

4. Choose Greatness.
We have this idea that leaders are the fastest and smartest, and that somehow they just wake up in the morning and magic happens. The reality is, greatness is a choice. Think about this – an athlete who wins the gold at the Olympics doesn't show up that day, run their race, and earn their medal. They've probably been getting up before everyone else they know for years, relentlessly training until they were ready to be great. For most of their lives, they've prepared for that one moment when they finally win the medal. If you think about the incredible amount of discipline, tenacity, and time investment that's needed to be ready for the Olympics – not to mention the number of failures they probably had along the way – it's remarkable. But again, greatness is a choice, and these athletes chose it. Leadership is not something that only a few of us have. It's a matter of making that choice every day to be as prepared as we can be for our winning moment.

Will you choose greatness?

About the author.

Carissa Reiniger is the Founder & CEO of Silver Lining Ltd. She started Silver Lining in 2005 and created the Silver Lining Action Plan – SLAP! – a methodology that has helped over 10,000 small business owners in 9 countries set – and hit – their growth goals. She incorporated all of the principles of behavior change science into one comprehensive business growth program to help bring out the best out of you and lead your business towards profitability and success. As part of her mission to help more small business owners make money doing what they love because she genuinely believes that we CAN change the economy one small business at a time.

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The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

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