What makes a leader in the corporate world? It isn’t holding an executive level role or supervising other employees. It isn’t something you can learn overnight or even with 20 years of work experience. A leader, in the most basic sense, is someone who can guide or inspire others. Many leaders are born with innate leadership skills but some learn how to lead from great role models.
In fact, leaders can be all around us from the bottom to the top of the corporate ladder. We all have the opportunity to express a number of leadership qualities, even if we don’t necessarily see it. Wherever you are in the working world, you may exhibit leadership in your everyday work.
Show Initiative. If an opportunity presents itself, take it! Stepping forward and showing you are proactive can be a great way to lead in your organization. Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions and show your boss you can lead, rather than relying on others to do it for you.
Take risks. No one can be a leader without taking some risks. Sometimes they pan out and sometimes you have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off, but the risk is where you can show your leadership abilities and rise up. You may even want to consider taking the risk to get involved in something even if it doesn’t fall within your immediate responsibilities (just make sure you aren’t overstepping your boundaries or stepping on any toes).
Listen. Pay attention to what people are talking about. No really, listen. People want to be heard and if you can give this to them, even for a few moments, they will respect you more for it. Plus, listening to others may lead to all new ideas and opportunities for an organization. Often times, leaders follow their own views or experience by default, when sometimes it is staff recommendations that switch on the light bulbs and spark up improvements in organizations.
Be fair. In any position you hold, you can show the strength of your personal character and corporate moral values in how you act with others. Good leaders respect each and every individual and understand the contributions they make to the overall functioning of an organization. You can exemplify fairness by making sure your peers are treated fairly in your presence and in return, treating others with dignity and respect.
Be a problem solver, not a problem identifier. While identifying a problem is an important first step (especially if no one else has the courage to speak up), it is less valuable to management than someone who is thinking of creative ways to solve the problem. A problem solver is an instant leader because doing so immediately shows positive results for company time, money, morale, etc. Be a leader by taking charge of problems, figuring out what it takes to get a job done, using your resources and resolving these issues.
Prioritize. A good way to lead is simply putting first things first. You can’t be a leader of others if you don’t understand what is most important to the company, your own boss and yourself. Setting your priorities is an important part to achieving successful results!
Stay positive. People want to work with and for people who are enthusiastic, confident and who are enjoyable to be around. You can lead simply by being positive because it in turn motivates those around you! Others may look to you as this kind of leader because your demeanor makes the days go by a little easier, makes the hard times seem like they’re not so tough and just makes the overall office a more enjoyable place to be.
In conclusion, it can be said that good leadership doesn’t necessarily happen overnight but everyone can certainly do their part to exhibit positive examples of leadership in their everyday work. However you choose to exhibit leadership in your career, never forget that being a good leader comes down to a few basic things: it’s about getting things done, inspiring and encouraging others and always being an positive example for those around you. (Brazen Careerist)