Step Up & Lead: 3 Things You Need to Do to Become a Leader TODAY

Are you looking to get to your next level, but aren’t sure where to start?

Then you need to hear this today: you already have what you need right here, right now to get there. All you need to do is make the choice to become a leader by stepping up today.

Let me explain.

I am all for professional development of all kinds–trainings, seminars, webinars, podcasts, certifications, degrees, and books (gotta put that shameless plug in–did you know I wrote a book called Leader by Mistake?!?).

But sometimes when we’re busy searching to improve ourselves in one area, we often ignore some of the easy, core steps that can help take us from where we are now to where we really want to go.

If you’re reading this, I know you’re looking to level up. I know you’ve got ambition and drive. I know you’ve got some sweet goals and amazing dreams. And I know YOU have what it takes to make whatever you want happen.

It’s not magic, I’m talking about. It’s your ability–as a human being–to show up day-in and day-out and embody the leadership mindset.

Leadership is made up of various skills–from grit and patience to communication and accountability–but what grounds all of these skills is your mindset, your way of orienting yourself toward the world.

If your mindset is tuned into self-doubt and negativity instead of toward the positive and inspiring, then you’re headed in the opposite direction of your goals and dreams!

Don’t fret though. I’m here for you, as your Confidence Coach.

If you want to get to your next level and become the leader you’ve always admired and dreamed about, then let’s just get to it! (Yes, it is that simple!)

To be a leader, you need to practice these 3 simple things:

  • Take the leap and JUST START!
  • Make mistakes and learn as you go
  • Channel your Everyday Leader and lead on purpose

There’s no time like the present to kick start your leadership journey, so let’s dive into the 3 things you need to become a leader TODAY!

Confidence Coach Jacqueline M. Baker with Leader by Mistake book fans

  1. Take the Leap and Just Start

This is the EASIEST STEP imaginable–to take the leap into leadership and just start working toward your goals and dreams.

And I know you already know all about this step. You know you that in order to make progress that you need to take action.

Great. Can we go home now?

Nope. We can’t.


Because you might have this simple step, this core knowledge inside of you right now, but you might not be acting on it just yet.

THAT’S the hard part–acting on knowledge, putting it into use to become the leader you dream about.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

Underneath your lack of action (it’s OK, don’t beat yourself up about it) is another solid mass of difficulty.

The hard part underneath the hard part is this: giving yourself permission to lead with all your heart, to let go of self-doubt, and to embrace your greatness.

So, saying you’ll take the leap and just starting is easy.

But actually making the leap and getting yourself to start is harder since it’s often mixed up with deep-seated feelings of inadequacy and wrapped up in an ill-fitting bow of vulnerability.

But still.

If you never try…

If you never take action…

If you never leap…

If you never just start…

Well, you’re never going to be the leader you dream about. You will never become a leader, period. And you certainly won’t get to your next level.

It’s easy to say, “Take the leap and just start,” but sometimes hard to get yourself to do it. But you have to. There is no way around it.

You can procrastinate all you want, but the more you do that, the more you’re robbing us of the chance to learn from your gifts, to be inspired by your leadership.

Don’t do that. Just start instead.

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Confidence Coach Jacqueline M. Baker helping a teenage girl learn from mistakes in dining etiquette

  1. Make Mistakes and Learn as You Go

In some workplaces, making mistakes is taboo (even though they still happen).

In other workplaces, making mistakes is celebrated, championed even, as mistakes bear the mark of failure and failure means you can get up once more and try again (hopefully, more intelligently).

I tend to gravitate toward the latter approach to mistakes.

I don’t think we need to cheerlead our mistakes like they’re the best things in the world, but we do need to value our mistakes as learning opportunities.

To be a leader–a good leader–you need to: (1) acknowledge that you (and everyone else around you) makes mistakes, and (2) learn from these mistakes–yours and others–as you go.

How you become a leader, in part, is by owning up to the mistakes you’ve made. Then you need to turn around and not make them again because you’ve taken the time to reflect on what you’ve done and you’ve learned to do things better.

For example, if you’ve just pronounced your new co-worker’s name wrong yet again–don’t ignore that, again.

Own up to your fumble and apologize to them. You can also ask them for the correct pronunciation, then say their name to yourself a few times in your head to help make it stick.

Next time to see your co-worker, greet them using their name, showing not only that you’ve mastered the pronunciation, but that you value them enough to say “hi” first.

You’re not going to know everything off the bat so mistakes are inevitable–in both everyday situations, like the example above, or more complex situations, like a software malfunction.

Instead of dwelling on mistakes, use them as tools to develop your leadership skills, to help you become a leader.

Make mistakes. Then learn from them. And keep learning and learning and learning.

  1. Channel Your Everyday Leader and Lead on Purpose

When you decide to lean into leadership and to embrace your mistakes as learning tools, you are practicing Everyday Leadership.

An Everyday Leader is someone who uses what they have at their disposal now–current skill set, experiences, lessons learned, and inspired mindset–to get to where they want to go.

An Everyday Leader understands that they don’t need outside validation in the form of a promotion or a pat on the back to get their butt up and just start working toward their goals and dreams and treating everyone around them with respect.

An Everyday Leader knows that there will be struggle and there will be challenges, but wakes up ready to push through them even if an extra 10-minute snooze under a warm blanket sounds mighty good.

An Everyday Leader is you, right now.

That might be hard to believe, but guess what–you’ve got what you need to become a leader TODAY:

  • You already know you need to just start (and YOU WILL take action and JUST START).
  • You also know you need to take your mistakes and turn them into reflection moments and lessons.
  • And now you also know that you’re an Everyday Leader, and you didn’t even have to do much for it!

But it’s not so easy, though.

It takes time and patience and practice and training to fully channel your Everyday Leader on a daily basis.

You need to be deliberate in your actions. You need to lead on purpose, with purpose.

For example, if I want to start being that person at work that people can count on and that people admire, then I need to show up each day, be ready for anything, and practice showing appreciation and gratitude.

I need to start treating people with respect and courtesy, using simple greetings and phrases like, “hi,” “thank you,” and “I appreciate you.” And I need to give people the floor in meetings and really listen to them, quelling any urge I might have to talk over them and sideline their ideas.

I also need to be ready to be accountable if I make a mistake, which takes us back to tip #2. I need to show that making mistakes is OK by owning up to any I make and then showing those I work with that I’ve learned from my mistakes and that I’m better for it–and that the workplace is better for it, too.

There are so many simple, small everyday ways you can make improvements and changes in your life.

You have a fresh start everyday to choose how you will think, behave, and act.

Use this daily opportunity to channel your Everyday Leader in whatever situation you encounter.

Sure, you will knock yourself down and others will too, but you need to be consistent with your purpose–you need to lead with intention and carry on no matter what.

As you build up this forward momentum, you strengthen the Everyday Leader that’s hiding out inside of you.

Through your actions, you help give voice, meaning, and power to your Everyday Leader. You allow yourself to shine regardless of the naysayers (internal and external).

And you inspire others to shine, because you’ve taken the time to show you value them (because that’s what real leaders do, too).

So don’t wait to be a leader. Be a leader now.

Channel your Everyday Leader today because the world is waiting for you to dive in and become who you’ve always wanted to be.



P.S. Did you like this post? If so, then you’re probably a great fit for the Leader List! Join the Leader List today to access leadership skill-building tools, advice, and inspiration to help you get to your next level and keep you accountable.

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