Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and they can be present in various positions within the company.
You don’t need to be in a C-Level position to display leadership skills. You don’t even need to manage a team. Actually, executives are looking for signs of leadership before they promote anyone to a management position, so it’s a good idea to position yourself as a leader from day one.
Here’s how to position yourself as a leader in the office.
Work well within a team
Some misguided people mistake dictatorship for leadership, but that’s not where it’s at. The best leaders know how to work well within a team and get the most out of each team member through encouragement. Don’t mistake this for being bossy. That’ll get your teammates conspiring against you and you won’t achieve your desired outcome.
Don’t be afraid to speak up
If something isn’t working within your department, find a way to respectfully offer alternatives. When higher-ups can see that you’re putting productivity first, they’ll recognize the signs of an effective leader. When you voice opinions that can help propel the company forward, you instantly become a more valuable employee.
Know when to take a backseat
Everyone wants to get noticed for their accomplishments, but it’s also important to build others up. When you give other people credit for their role in any project, you not only gain that person’s trust, but you’re also sending the message that you can be humble. A great leader cares more about the outcome than the credit.
Handle constructive criticism with grace
No one is perfect, and there will be times when people point out things you could have done better. Accept the criticisms and see where you can adjust your behavior to improve. A leader isn’t someone who does no wrong. It’s someone who can admit their faults and continue to improve.
Commit to learning
If you want to show true leadership, make a commitment to learning about your industry. Dedicate time each week to read books or attend seminars to keep you up-to-date on current trends. And on your off time, consider reading books or listening to podcasts that can help you hone your leadership skills.
Mentor someone else
If you’re in any sort of leadership position already, consider mentoring someone who wants to achieve your level of success. Your commitment to someone else’s growth shows incredible leadership skills. Because, again, leadership is about building other people up for the greater good of everyone.
If you do commit to becoming a mentor, you need to recognize the responsibility you are taking on. Mentoring doesn’t just stop after the clock hits 5 o’clock; you need to hold fast to your ideals and values even when you aren’t in the office.
Say you’re the perfect worker during the day but are the first one to hit the bar for happy hour. You really need to think about the message your sending to your mentees. Although it may be okay for you, those who look up to you may develop a habit or alcoholism that resulted from what they saw you doing.
Most people want to be recognized as leaders within their company because they’re looking to get promoted. And that’s a great reason. But don’t get too tied to any particular outcome. Leadership skills will help you throughout your personal and professional life for a lifetime.
And if the leaders at your current office don’t appreciate your skills, you can always take your leadership elsewhere. You can list your leadership skills on a resume and land your dream job somewhere else. These skills will make you an asset to any employer.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement.
We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiringyou to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I’ve accepted that I’m human and that is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, being human is great! It’s exhausting trying to be perfect all the time. I’m still working on trying to accept that criticizing myself is more harmful than helpful.
I’ve gotten better over the years recognizing when I’m criticizing myself unnecessarily, but I slip up every now and again, but that’s okay. I embrace my humanity and imperfections!
2. Appreciation is everything. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I’ve learned to appreciate self-love. When I started to love myself, I took better care of myself both mentally and physically every day.
I’m still working on appreciating the accomplishments that I have and trying not to compare my success or timing of success with people around me.
3. Share with us one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
One of my most rewarding achievements in life in learning how to seek help, both in my loved ones and through professional support. What makes me the proudest is accepting that I can be vulnerable and I don’t have to do everything on my own.
The goals I still have are learning to overcome negative thoughts entirely and stop surrendering to self-doubt when it happens.