The world is in need of many things, and one of those things is leadership. There is a real shortage of people willing to take responsibility for leading themselves, their families, their organizations, and their communities to a brighter future. Fortunately, leadership is a skill that can be learned and developed over time.

Here are five tips to help you position yourself as a leader:

1. Share Your Opinions

Don’t be afraid to share your opinions, especially online. If there are topics that you are passionate about, or that you have expertise in, start sharing your ideas about those topics. The internet can be a powerful tool to help spread your message. Engage in conversations on social media. Answer questions other people are asking. Comment on some of your favorite blogs, or even better, start a blog of your own and invite others to comment on yours. Written words help create a perception of authority. The more you write about a specific topic, the more people will perceive you as an authority on that topic.

2. Vocalize What You Stand For And What You Stand Against

If you believe in something, tell the world. Take a stand on certain issues and be prepared to defend your position. Make it clear to others what you stand for, and have the courage to make it clear what you stand against. This will have a polarizing effect on others. You will attract like-minded individuals, and you will repel or even be met with resistance from those who disagree with you. A strong leader is able to accept that not everyone will agree with them, follow them, or like them.

3. Know When To Follow

Humility is a rare quality. As you develop your leadership skills, your ability to influence others will increase. People will follow you, but this doesn’t mean that you should stop following others. Be open to advice and feedback from other people whom you admire or respect. Know when it is your turn to speak, and accept when it is your turn to listen. Most successful people in the world have mentors and coaches for various areas of their life. There isn’t enough time in one life time to learn everything on our own. We must leverage the wisdom and experience of others whenever possible.

4. Say No To Opportunities That Are Not Aligned With Your Vision

Time is the commodity of the 21st century. If you’re not careful your time will be taken from you. As a leader, you must learn to protect your time. Have a clear vision for your future and for the impact you wish to leave in this world. When other people present you with opportunities that demand your time and attention, learn to say no if they do not align with your vision. You shouldn’t expect people who don’t believe in your vision to follow you, and you shouldn’t follow someone else if you don’t believe in theirs.

5. Surround Yourself With Other Leaders

The final tip I’d like to share with you is to intentionally surround yourself with other positive and influential people. We become like the people we spend the most time with. Make an effort to spend as much time as possible with people who help you grow as an individual and challenge you to become a better version of yourself. Make a conscious effort to meet new people and build new relationships often. As your network expands, and as you align yourself with other people who share a similar vision as your own, your ability to make an impact in the world will increase.

About Tyler Basu

Photo by Bob Garlick

Photo by Bob Garlick

Tyler Basu is an author, podcast host, and entrepreneur. His podcast, called Chatting With Champions, features weekly interviews with successful individuals from all over the world. Tyler uses his difference to make a difference by striving to uncover the principles and strategies that enable people to succeed, and sharing his findings with others.