In his book „An Integrative Theory of Leadership." Martin M Chemers defines leadership as "a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task."
But to be a successful leader, you must be sure that this „common task" or a goal is a) something you need to achieve and b) something that can be achieved. In other words, you must be sure, you're goals are SMART.
The "social influence" is also important. Building it requires demonstrating confidence, setting a good example and appearing successful. Although not all of it can be thought, you can increase your value by being an exemplary member of your team.
Ask yourself „Have I really thought this through?" If you're not sure, you can check it with Weekdone's SMART goals widget.
The qualities people look for in a leader are:
Vision and a plan (strategy);
Charisma and an ability to lead (motivational skills).
Both of these points boil down to this: leadership means your employees believe that you know what you're doing.
Even more important, you must know what you're doing. The SMART methodology is a good way to be sure.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. If you look at this list of adjectives, it seems logical to have those characteristics for plans. Yet, SMART goals are not very often used.
The problem with SMART goals is that planning takes time and the fruits are not immediately seen. Some people might also be afraid because if the goal is not achieved, you can't blame it on outside factors.
If usually you can say that „there wasn't enough time" or not to set a time limit and say „we'll do it next month", then with SMART, this is not possible. If there are no results, then you were either lazy or had a wrong goal.
But, to be fair, to have leadership skills means not hiding from responsibility.
Whether you set goals for a quarter or a year, it's worth taking the extra time. Only 3% of adults have clear written goals, but they achieve 10 times as much as everyone else. And those 3% probably have a lot of leadership qualities.