How To Become A Leader In Your Workplace
Whether you are the boss of your own company, supervisor of a team or at the bottom rung of the corporate ladder, practicing great leadership is an empowering process and a great skill to harness especially if you want to become an entrepreneur. If you have great leadership skills you will suddenly find that you have less obstacles to navigate as people naturally come to you, want to be part of your inner circle and will seek your praise for a job well done. In the workplace this means you get more done, you get that promotion or achieve a particular goal and within your industry and your life outside of work, you will be perceived as an influencer and someone of significance.
This is all very powerful but you can’t let it go to your head and start abusing your position as that will only lead to disaster, instead you have to learn how to use the power of influence to build your own brand identity of who you are and what you stand for. This is about being authentic and transparent. People have to trust you and not see you as someone who is deceptive, manipulative or has some sort of hidden motive. You want to be someone of integrity who they can respect. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect but more someone who when they make a mistake takes ownership of them and then fixes it. People respect that more than someone who makes a mistake and then covers it up or tries to blame it on someone else!
So think about who you are. What are your virtuous qualities? Are you kind, patient, compassionate, diligent, fair, responsible, perseverant, reliable? What do you want people to know you for? Know your qualities and then have utter confidence in the fact that you have these qualities. Make these your brand identifiers. Demonstrate these traits in everything you do so there can be no doubt than when people are asked to describe you, these are the terms that they will use. Have confidence but also treat those around you with dignity and respect. Never get embroiled in office politics or bitching. Be above all of that.
Leave your emotions at home with the people you love. Don’t take them into the workplace. Don’t be afraid of feedback. It is simply information and it’s not an attack on who you are. You decide who you are. You don’t give that power to anyone else. If you receive negative feedback or criticisms then simply say ‘OK, I’ll reflect on that’. It does not require an emotional response. If people want you to do something differently say ‘OK, we’ll try that and see if it makes a difference’. You don’t need to be defensive or overly emotional. It’s information, that’s all. Know who you are and have confidence in who you are. No-one can affect that unless you let them – so don’t!
Take that self-confidence and lead courageously in the workplace. Take on the hard projects, make the difficult decisions, be bold but not reckless. Do this with confidence and people will then have confidence in you and look to you for answers when they are not sure what way to go or action to take. This will get the attention of upper management so make sure that you are making good decisions and are known for that rather than bad decisions that cost the company money!
Good leadership skills doesn’t mean that you have all the answers and do all the work, but rather than delegate learn to leverage to get the best results. You can’t be the best at everything, it’s just impossible. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses. But here’s the trick, build on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses for optimal results.
You need to know your own strengths and weaknesses and then you must figure out the strengths and weaknesses of those around you so you know where to go to get the help you need. Go to that person but don’t just say to them ‘do this for me’, people hate that. It makes them feel put upon and they will create a whole mini-drama about it. Instead go to them and present your problem to them. Let them come up with the solution that plays to their strengths. Let them be the hero and take pride in the finished result. Let people help you solve your problems and then importantly let them share in the success.
At the heart of all of this is great communication skills. If you are able to have a clear understanding with others on what your goals are, what you want to achieve together and ultimately what you want to create, then you turn a task into a shared experience with another human. Making a human connection allows you to leverage massive results, combined with the dignity and respect you are showing them, you stand out a true leader who people want to follow.
Add to this a passion and enthusiasm for what you are doing you become an unstoppable force. Now that doesn’t mean you do cartwheels in the office whenever you have to do filing, that would clearly make you look like an idiot, but rather you find a purpose and meaning in everything you do. The purpose of filing is to have everything in order so important documents can be retrieved. So rather than tell anyone who’ll listen how terrible it is that you have to do boring filing, instead think to yourself how good it is when everything is in order. Rather than avoid you and your moaning, people might bring you a coffee or offer to give you a hand.
Don’t be the source of doom and gloom in your workplace. Radiate good, positive vibes and rather than stay clear of you, people will be drawn to you and want to be around you. Being passionate about what your company’s aims are and channel that into workplace tasks. Inspire those around you. Your positive attitude become infectious, your team achieves more and people are drawn to you like a magnet. You are the go-to person. You have the power. You have the influence. You are the leader.
Leadership is a skill and it is a skill that you develop over time. Going into your workplace tomorrow with a sudden personality change and trying to implement all the advice right away will not have the desired effect. People will think ‘what’s with them?’ rather than respond in a constructive way. Work on one thing at a time and slowly but surely you will develop great skills that will serve you as your own boss, a manager or an employee working your way up the corporate ladder.