The skills you bring to the table include more than those derived from work. Real-life experiences with parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and colleagues provide much of the fabric for who you become as an adult.

Growing up with my nine brothers and sisters taught me negotiation skills I couldn’t have learned in a classroom. Independence and self-sufficiency are traits I learned from my mother. Working hard for things that matter and celebrating life come from my father. My faith and spirituality remind me to treat each day as if it were my last and to make a difference in the lives of those I serve.

Learn to be a great listener. Some of the best friends, spouses and leaders are those with great listening skills.

We all make mistakes. Embrace the human element of the job. Learn from your mistakes to become a better person, leader or parent. Know your weaknesses and work to improve them; ignoring them will only make them greater liabilities down the road.

Observe. Watch those leaders who demonstrate the attributes you want to develop. See how they interact and communicate with other people in different situations, how they reward and recognize accomplishments. Study how they use their natural strengths to work smarter, not necessarily harder.

Know and understand your strengths. Ask for feedback from those who know you at home and at work. Research shows that leaders who instinctively have the strengths required for their particular position are those who not only excel, but also enjoy their work and have a passion for it.

Find a profession or job that has meaning and purpose for you. With this will come the passion and commitment sought in great leaders.

Help someone along the way without being asked.We all have needed help at one time or another.With the right tools and information, leaders can foster independence and remove barriers for others. People have unlimited potential to learn and develop. Help others achieve their potential and become valuable leaders and resources.