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What Motivates You to Be a Leader?

Depending on individual personality and past experiences, leaders are motivated to lead for a variety of reasons. Some reasons tend to be egotistical and selfish, while others are more altruistic and pragmatic. Leaders whose sole motivation is egotistical usually do not do well, although some successful leaders may be motivated by a range of reasons, including some selfish ones. By examining your motivations to be a leader, you can gain insight into your leadership style, which might help make you a better leader. Motivated by Skill Development Some leaders pursued leadership after they compared themselves to their leaders. If you observe the leaders around you and feel confident that you could do their job at least as well as they do, or even better, you might feel motivated to take on a leadership role. If you have integrity and are accountable, outgoing and emotionally stable; if you enjoy challenges, problem-solving and strategizing; if you thrive on challenge and change - you probably are leadership material. If you seek out and enjoy added responsibility you might be feeling the pull toward leading others.

Motivated by Relationships If you find it satisfying to have people coming to you for advice because they value your opinion, you might feel driven to motivate others. If you have had some experience inspiring others to do their best and felt rewarded when they succeeded by following your suggestions, you are already a leader. You will probably feel motivated to seek an official leadership position. Being a good listener, enjoying the input from team members, and evaluating and synthesizing their input might also motivate you to be a leader.

Motivated by Results Good leaders are usually results oriented. They often become attracted to leadership positions when they believe something needs to be done and don't see it happening unless they jump in and make it happen. If you are committed to a project, goal or mission, you might find yourself motivated to lead even if you had never considered yourself a leader. If you have good ideas and a desire to implement them, you'll want to be a leader. Enjoying your job, being highly motivated and committed to your work, and feeling passionate about making a more significant contribution are all factors that can motivate you to be a leader.

Motivated by Ego Some leaders are motivated by ego-driven desires such as the need for approval and to be loved, or the need for power and control. These motivations can be tricky, because if there is no balance to the underlying desire, this type of leadership can quickly turn negative and harm the organization. However, a leader motivated by the need for love and approval can become successful by extending that love into a desire to make the company and its people the best they can be. A leader who seeks authority, power and control could balance that by instituting checks and balances to ensure that decisions are made to serve the best interests of the organization. No matter what the underlying desire, leaders and their organizations can benefit by frequently pausing to re-examine their own motivation and how it affects the company as a whole.

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