Progress is Everyone’s Responsibility
Being a leader in the workplace (or anywhere) is often mistaken as the sole responsibility of one person, or a small group of designated people. In truth, organizations can thrive if we do away with the old fashioned idea of established hierarchy.
In this modern age, there are more opportunities for people from all walks of life to take on a position of leadership. Whether we’re just starting out with a new job, or we’ve been working with a company for years, we can assume a leadership role and help ourselves (and our coworkers) achieve full potential.
Know Who You Are, and Capitalize On Your Strengths
Before we can lead, we have to establish some confidence in ourselves. This doesn’t necessarily mean being outspoken or bold, especially if that isn’t a natural personality trait.
We must know our strengths and lean on them to develop our specific style of leadership. Some people are soft-spoken and reserved, and they can be just as effective at leading as the outgoing and energetic. Taking the time to study our own behaviors will help us operate with a more natural leadership.
Let Your Personality Be The Foundation of Your Leadership Style
Shifting the way we think about leading is key when developing personal style. Leading the team doesn’t always have to mean that people follow us – at least not directly. Sometimes the most effective leader is someone who recognizes the strengths of their teammates and encourages them to take action, propelling the whole team forward.
We may not be the calling the shots for a project, but by knowing ourselves and the people around us, we can delegate responsibility effectively, and lead the team from a more supportive position.
Don’t Wait for Responsibility to Be Given – Recognize What Needs to Be Done… and Do It
The characteristics of a good leader should shine through no matter where we stand within the company. Maybe we’re not manager or department head, and that’s okay. Upholding our leadership characteristics, even when we’re working on our own, makes us a strong employee – and the bosses will notice.
Coworkers will notice too. Since we’re not signing their paychecks, we can be more approachable, and appeal to them in a way that “the boss” might not be able to. Of course, our employer may very well be easy to talk to, but the dynamic is different. If our fellow employees see us as a leader, we’ll be a trustworthy and reliable force for them, and a great help to “the boss” as well.
What’s Good is Good
At the end of the day, developing skills as a leader may be for nothing more than personal growth.
Of course we should want to excel at what we do, and produce results in our personal and professional lives. If we don’t get promoted right away, or end up shifting gears and leaving a position, the skills we practice as leaders should follow us wherever we go.
Leadership is a lifestyle, not just something that we practice in the workplace.