Leadership is a process. You don't just wake up one day become a leader. So how can you begin the process of being a leader if you are not yet one? There is no one right or wrong way, but there are steps that can help you gain control by thinking like a leader.


The old football adage "The best defense is a good offense" applies in communication. Knowing how to listen is the most important communication skill you can possess. Active listening is when you take the time to hear what the other person has to say.

Waiting for the other party to finish and not interrupting goes a long way in keeping the messaging open. This openness in communication helps you to stay ahead of the game and gives you an advantage over others.


Personal development is a constant that can keep you relevant in leadership thinking.

You do not have to know everything. However, making sure you keep up with what is current in your field of expertise will be a great advantage. Also, start asking for more difficult assignments — this will show upper management you want to go beyond the norm.

Be sure to help others along the way. Do not be stingy with your knowledge. Helping others is the best way for building the bridges you will need once you become a leader.


Most people do not think being humble is an asset in thinking like a leader. It is not about you, but in how you serve others. Being a servant leader is a valuable commodity in today's organization.

Oftentimes, once you get to a certain level, others no longer matter and having that power can take over. You can turn into a micromanager or act like dictator, and ultimately no one wants to be around someone like this. Stay humble and others will want to follow you as you grow in the company.


Along with humility, respect is the another important quality for thinking like a leader. As leadership expert John Maxwell states, "Leadership is an ability."

Do people want to be around you? Being a person of character and having a vision are the attributes of getting respect. People with these qualities tend to have people who will want to follow them.

In addition, you must respect others. If you don't, then you are not a real leader. Respect is a tough sell and is hard to get from other people, but it is worth it. Respect shows that you add value to others, and it is better for someone to respect you than to like you.


Mentoring is not just for upper management; it can start even if you are not yet in that role. Everyone has gifts and talents, and they can be shared. This is a good way to learn not only about others, but also about yourself.

Mentoring can get you noticed, and it shows you want to make a difference in the organization. Making a difference in a life is showing true leadership and will help has you climb the ladder of success.


Thinking like a leader is a continuous process. It does not happen in an hour or even a day. You should want to be able to have others grow beyond their potential, be someone who strives to give rather than take. Albert Einstein says it best: "Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value."

Finally, value both in yourself and others is the true way of thinking like a leader. Knowing your people have worth and significance is the best anyone can be in achieving ultimate leadership and thinking like a leader.