Michelle Adams, Staff Writer
Throughout college, students work hard to learn how to be leaders in the community and the workplace. We learn what it takes to be strong, compassionate innovators who can take command and manage large groups of people toward a common goal. These heavily-taught skills can be expanded, with just a few tweaks, to turn local leaders into global ambassadors that work to change the world:
1. Turn your interest into a passion
If you want to lead a large group of people, it is vital that you have passion for accomplishing your goal. Find something you know you can fight for, and that you won’t lose interest in. The best place to look for passion is in your life: many activists against drunk driving become global leaders after they (or a loved one) experiences a tragedy related to the crime. The same is true about domestic violence and even world hunger. What matters to you? Use that as a jumpstart to start your global change.
Alternatively, use your passions to make a difference. This is where you can be creative. If you are a musician, you can use music to bring people together for your cause, either by hosting a charity concert or even writing songs that promote advocacy. If you are a writer, you can spread your message through literature or on a blog. Be a leader by showing colleagues how they can use their talents to create global change, as well.
2. Improve your charisma and public speaking skills
Think of some of the world’s greatest leaders: Martin Luther King, Jr., Franklin Delano Roosevelt, even Winston Churchill. They all had impressive charisma and people skills, but they were also exceptional public speakers. One of the best ways to bring people together is to give a powerful speech – but no matter how good your writing skills are, if you stumble for words when talking in front of people, you won’t get your message across. These things can be practiced, of course. Start by presenting in front of friends or family, then classmates, before you try to speak in front of thousands of people. Once you become a comfortable public speaker, your character will naturally show, and you’ll appear credible and knowledgeable when discussing your issue with large groups of people.
3. Solidify your personal brand
Consider the current presidential candidates in the United States: are their reputations hurting their chances at being a global leader? When others perceive you to be reliable and professional, they will follow you much more willingly. It is crucial that leaders have a solid and consistent personal brand, because your reputation can be the difference between a great deal and a lost battle. Make your personal brand distinct and positive (off and online) to help transform yourself into the face of a true leader on a global level.
4. Work to become credible in your subject area
If you want to change the world, you have to know your stuff. Do your research and memorize the important numbers and facts, because there is nothing worse than being asked a question and not knowing the answer.
Having statistics and data to justify your opinions will also strengthen your argument, and, in turn, your movement. Your widespread knowledge on the subject will allow you to address opposition, and rally others on your side, which is key if you want support for your issue.
5. Enlist in the help of others to accomplish your goals
Everyone knows how important it is to network. Breaking into an industry often depends on who you know. Mixing and mingling is an acquired skill that colleges often workshop with students, and a lot of what you learn is still applicable on the global scale.
When you’re working on a worldwide movement, you need a lot more people behind you than just those in the career field you are pursuing. You may be a writer, and know a lot of others in the writing industry, but do you know a social media guru to spread your work? Can you design a website for your movement, or do you need a friend to help you out? Form relationships with as many people as you can, with a wide variety of skill sets, so they can help you spread the word. As a bonus, if you can get international talents involved, your transition from local to global will be even smoother.
Equally important is managing the people you enlist. This may not be an issue with small projects, but when you expand to the global level, you’ll need to entrust people and let them do their part. Delegating responsibility can be tough, especially if you are the type of person who wants to do it all, but you can go a lot further with a dedicated, and talented, team of individuals who share your passion.
Being a global leader isn’t as hard as it sounds. You already have the skills a global leader needs – you just need to extend them to a larger scale. With these tips, you’re on your way to making your mark on the world around you.