Many people feel content to sit back and let others lead.

But if you are to be the CEO and head of your business, you must also become a leader of others.

In fact, when you embrace and exercise your leadership qualities, your business will grow substantially.

Ah, but it’s not so simple, being a leader if it doesn’t come naturally to you.

Have no fear, I’ve got a few leadership strategies I’ll share with you. They don’t require phenomenal effort, but they do yield excellent results.

Be a Lifelong Learner

How can you lead if you’re not also learning and growing every day?

Now, I’m not saying you need to go off and immerse yourself in academic pursuits or enroll in every internet course available. What I am saying is this: pay attention.

Pay attention. Knowledge flies by us at such accelerated speeds these days that often we tune it out because we can’t possibly take it all in.

But if you let yourself be guided by paying attention to what information energizes and intrigues you and then take that in, you will continue to build your bank of knowledge, your skills, your expertise, your authority, your relevance. And those qualities speak volumes.

Being a lifelong learner allows you to connect to more people in more ways. Be curious. Be open. Pay attention.

All great leaders are great learners.

Nurture Your Community

Be it your online community, your physical community, or both. Take a keen interest in them. Ask questions, have conversations, and be energetically available to them.

Show up consistently as a leader in your community who is known for your knowledge, strengths, gifts and the generous way in which you share that expertise.

Great leaders are relationship based. They care about the members of their community.

Be sure to nurture your business community. Be present for them. Be of service to them.

Be Active In Industry Networks

Show industry colleagues that you are present and thriving. Contribute regularly to your most valued networks.

There are Facebook groups and other forums – online and in person – where actively joining in with your voice, and adding to the conversation instead of incessantly promoting yourself, is not only welcomed but highly valued (and may I add, rarer than it should be).

Be a contributor. Then watch how your colleagues take notice of your spirit and want to get to know you better.

You’ll be contributing to your industry, which is the embodiment of a leader, and you’ll be more likely to form positive partnerships along the way. (Which leads me into the next point.)

Develop Associations and Partnerships with Other Leaders

Find people who have complementary businesses that serve the same audience you do and support each other to bring your best to more people.

When you partner with others who have the same core values and business philosophy, everyone wins – both of you as collaborators and both of your audiences.

Together we grow faster than we could ever alone. And that means you’re serving even more of your ideal clients, bringing your expertise and gifts to an ever widening circle.

Now that’s leadership.

Invest In Yourself

If you are asking others to invest in themselves by working with you, you MUST invest in yourself as well.

This goes hand in hand with being a lifelong learner, but it also demonstrates the fact that all great leaders have even better teams of people supporting them from above, below, and beside.

You will not only directly gain from your investment, but you’ll also model for others that investing in oneself is the true mark of a leader.

I realize that not everyone wants to be a leader or be seen as a leader. And that’s okay.

But it’s not okay for you. Or for me.

If you are in business for yourself in order to be successful, then leadership is a must. You absolutely need to be a leader for your business, for your team and for your community, however that might be defined.

Leaders aren’t dictators; they’re not kings and omniscient beings. They don’t have all the answers all the time.

True leaders are listeners. They’re purveyors of knowledge and lovers of learning.

True leaders know the value of relationships and the people in their life – their clients, community, partners, collaborators, colleagues and peers, and the public.

To run the successful business you desire, you need to be an influential leader.

To be an influential leader be the authentic version of yourself that inspires and uplifts those around you. And watch your business flourish!