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“If you want to be a leader, learn to act the part.”

I was involved in theater in college. For a while there, I thought I might make a career of it. After realizing I was no good, I moved onto bigger and better things like call centers. Still, I learned a great deal from my theater days. One of the biggest lessons I learned was the principle of “acting the part.” This was a three step process that involved research, risks, and accountability. This principle applies directly to what we all do today; acting the part directly applies to leadership.

In leadership, we must do our research. We need to find our models, techniques, and styles that drive the most productive and consistent results. We need to search out examples that we can embody like Washington, Eisenhower, and Reagan. We need to study their lives and history and see how we can learn be more like them. We can’t embody a higher ideal if we know nothing about what it takes to be that type of a person. We must do our character research.

In leadership, we must take risks. At Launch Leads, we are a startup. Everything we do is a risk. If we hire a new salesperson, that is a risk. If we change our target market, that is a risk. If we give someone a raise, that is a risk. Everything is a risk. But in this environment, we learn that risks are a part of everyday life. Leaders take risks. They thrive in that environment. We have to be accustomed to taking risks.

In leadership, we must be held accountable. Being held accountable is how we learn, grow, and improve. Sometimes we don’t have a supervisor who holds us accountable. It is not up to a supervisor to hold you accountable. We have to hold ourselves accountable. That is the key. Only then do we ensure our constant progress and development.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower said leadership is “the art of getting someone else to do what you want done because he wants to do it.” Think about what he said. Leadership is art. It is about influence. It is about motivation and inspiration. If you want to be a leader, you better be prepared to act the part.

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