I spent the last 2+ years studying leadership and management, learning from experts and case studies on what makes a great leader. Last week, I focused on your leadership style and developing a variety of leadership styles to suit your needs. Through all my studying, I’ve determined there is no one-way to lead.

This week I finished reading Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath. A couple years ago, I read Strengths Finder 2.0 and took the assessment determining what my leadership strengths are. At that time, I didn’t truly understand my strengths. Today, reading the summarized report of my strengths is as if the assessment knows me better than I know myself. What I appreciate about Strengths Based Leadership is it focuses on you. What makes you great? How can you take your personality, your skills, your desires, and make you a great leader?

Last week, I defined leadership as “one’s ability to motivate or influence.” My definition isn’t changing because we all can motivate or influence in our own way. Think about the contrast between the individuals running for President of the United States. Individuals like Ben Carson (quiet, thinker) verse someone like Donald Trump (draws on emotions, blunt). They are both leaders in their own way and demonstrate contrast on how two people can be leaders yet completely different.

So what is a leader? You are.

Figure out what your strengths are and lead.

Figure out what you’re passionate about and lead.

Understand who you are and lead.

It’s that simple. You have the ability to motivate and influence anyone whether it is in business, your community, or in your home. You will have the opportunity to make an impact on someone’s life so it’s important to understand who you are and jump to it. We need you.