To Take lead is to tap into that raw masculine energy that is within us all.
It’s not being afraid to take responsibility, to make decisions, to be powerful and acknowledge your place as a man in what is most definitely a man’s world. It is this raw masculinity that women find attractive.
You don’t have to be a leader in your career or day-to-day life to find opportunities to take lead. Whenever anyone asks a question, asks for your opinion, you have a decision to make and a reason to lead. Whenever a decision has to be made, you have an opportunity to take lead.
Put forward your idea with total conviction, say it like you mean it. If you’re with a group of friends and someone says “where are we going now?” If you want to go to Starbucks, say “let’s go to Starbucks”.
Say it in a way that the decision has already been made. If you find that your voice tone rises towards the end of the sentence, you are seeking approval from the group.
You are basically asking a question and being unsure of your own convictions. Being sure of your convictions means that you know yourself and your identity. It is unabashedly taking sides and being prepared to say “no” and having strong preferences.
It shouldn’t take you long to reach a decision for small things like where to go, what to eat, who to approach or what to wear. Reflect back on the last time you went to a restaurant, how long did it take you to decide to go to that restaurant? How long did it take you to decide what to eat off the menu? How long did it take you to ask for the bill?
All these things should happen quickly. If you’re taking longer than five minutes to decide what to eat off the menu, do you even know what kind of food you like to eat? do you have strong preferences? If not, then start developing strong preferences, not just in food, in everything. If you are a ‘go with the flow’ kind of guy it is going to be hard for you to take lead and be a convincing leader.
Take Lead And Take Responsibility
A leader has to be prepared to defend the group from both outside threats and threats from within. A threat is anything that could be destructive to the integrity of the group. Be it physical or verbal threats, as a leader, you should be swift in dealing with any situation that could be harmful to your group’s integrity or your integrity as a leader.
Machiavelli said that it is easier and more efficient to stop a threat when everyone is uncertain that a threatening situation is occurring, consequently it is harder to stop a threat once everyone is aware of it and embroiled in it. The longer you let something brew, the harder it is to quash. Be aware of threats before everyone else and extinguish them early, take pre-emptive and pro-active action.
Take pro-active action in social outings. If you’ve gone out to sing karaoke, be the first one to pick up a microphone and sing. If you’ve gone out bowling, be the first to pick up a ball. If you’re in an audience and they ask for someone to come up on stage, put your hand up with enthusiasm.
If you’re on a date at a restaurant just for coffee. And the waitress starts reading out the specials… cut her off and tell her you’re only there for drinks. Be the first to decide what you’re eating off a menu and help others arrive at their decision.
Have fun with this, don’t hold back and be honest, nobody can argue with honesty. Honesty and social intelligence go hand-in-hand. Not only is total honesty incredibly funny at times, it is like a pressure relief for everyone else in the group because you have allayed everyone’s thoughts. The only difference is that you will be the first to say it because you don’t hold back.
Good social intelligence is knowing when to hold your honesty back. The only time not being honest is a good policy is when your honesty can lead to destructive behavior in yourself or others. It would not be very socially intelligent to tell a bikie gang that they reak of alcohol and should all go home because they are ruining your night out, that kind of thing is not going to have constructive consequences and it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.
If something isn’t right, take action to correct it. If your date is behaving poorly, tell her. If your friend says something and you don’t agree, voice your opinion, you have no need to supplicate to someone else. If your intuition tells you that your social group is not enjoying themselves in their current situation, take them somewhere else.
If someone in your group challenges you to do something that you don’t want to do, you don’t have to go along with what that person wants, otherwise you are handing leadership to them and acknowledging that they know better than you. Be the guy that knows where everything is.
Research the areas that you are going, make a mental map of alternative venues. If you haven’t been to an area before, have google maps pre-loaded on your smart phone so that you’re not wandering around aimlessly. Check out the venue’s website, read about the suburb, city or street on wikipedia. This is particularly important if you’re on a date, you need to have a strategy.
Leaders strategize. It is much easier to have a plan, or to rehearse something than to improvise it. Have plans for your social outings and for your dates. Make your plans flexible so that you can always change your situation to suit the needs of your group, or date.
Being flexible means having more than one option to reach your desired outcome, this is easy to do if you’ve thought about it prior to going out. Write your ideas or plans down and put them in your pocket or smart phone. Make your outings fun by stringing several venues or activities together.
Even though you’re technically not improvising, it will appear as though you are.
The people that you lead will enjoy themselves under your thoughtful guidance and will thank you for taking the lead. To take lead is to make decisions and be certain about them. You have strong preferences and know when to say “no”. You are able to defend yourself and those in your group from physical and verbal threats, as a good leader, you are able to identify and diffuse threats before they become threats.
You are pro-active in social settings, you’re the first to step up to the plate. You’re honest with people, but not so honest that you hurt anyone, honesty needs to be applied with social intelligence in mind.
You do the right thing, you right the wrongs, you remonstrate. You know best because you have done your research, you always know where you are and where to go next. You have a strategy when you go out and are flexible in your approach. You are a leader.
By Glen Clive
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