Organizations need strong leadership. Whether you are a leader for your sales team or you aspire to be promoted to a leadership position, it helps to consider whether you are living up to your full potential as a leader. You may be able to tap into some established qualities or build some new skills that would make you a stronger and more effective leader.

To achieve your full leadership potential, you can start by looking at your current situation. How well do you understand your own leadership style? Do you know areas in which you excel—and areas where you could improve? It’s crucial to understand what drives you as a leader and where you may face roadblocks.

Executive coach Lolly Daskal notes that no matter how many skills you have acquired, you may have extra talents and knowledge to offer. If you want to fully step into your leadership role and bring all your skills and talents to the table, read on. We’ll share Daskal’s tips for how to reach your full potential as a leader in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Make sure you understand yourself. Self-understanding is a crucial component to leading well, says Daskal. Without fully knowing yourself, you can’t expect to understand and inspire others. Sometimes, you have to dig a bit to discover where you excel and where you may need to improve. You can hire a coach or find a mentor to help you define your strengths, gaps, and leadership style, says Daskal.

Focus more on your people. The best leaders always look for ways to support their employees. After you get a grasp on your own leadership style, shine the spotlight on your team members. Look for ways to coach them or mentor them. And be sure to keep a positive outlook, says Daskal. If you have a negative mindset, that negativity can seep into everything you do as a leader.

Be open to taking risks. Many leaders play it safe, but this isn’t the path to reaching your full leadership potential. In fact, Daskal says playing it safe is one of the riskiest things you can do as a leader. That’s because to reach your top potential, you must face your fear and do what you need to do in spite of it. When you allow yourself to take risks, you give yourself room to get unstuck and make difficult decisions when needed.

Align your life with your values. Hard work and ambition will take you far as a leader, but you won’t become great simply by working hard. According to Daskal, leaders become great because they hold clearly defined values and align everything they do to those values. When you know what values are most important to you, you can commit to them fully in how you live your life and lead your team.

To step into your full leadership potential, get to know yourself first. Strive to understand what you do well as a leader and where you may need to grow. Then you can direct your focus to helping your team develop new skills. It’s also important to take risks and ensure you define your own personal values. When you commit to taking these actions, you often step through the door to living up to your full leadership potential.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Lolly Daskal is the founder of Lead from Within, a leadership firm that offers custom programs in leadership and organizational development. Daskal is an advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs and boards and is recognized as one of the top executive coaches in the world.