How To Be an Effective Leader, No Matter What Your Title Is
Read time: 6 minutes
Your time to be a leader in your workplace has arrived. This is especially true if you’re not in a leadership position at the company you work for! It’s time for you to embrace this new state-of-mind role and start acting accordingly.
No pressure, though. As always in life, you have different options: you could choose to just sit and let the situations and events carry you around. If that choice doesn’t appeal to you then read on.
What is an Effective Leader?
So, you may be wondering what I want for you when I invite you to “be a leader.” Simply put, I want you to get back in the driver’s seat of your job, to be in control of the way you respond to events, and to take ownership of what you do and the results you generate. These are some of the key elements that define a leader. Only by being this type of person can you decide where you ultimately want to go and be able to inspire those around you to be part of your journey.
Does this mean that now you have to change your job title, the tasks you do, or look for a totally new agency to work for? No, not necessarily. You can do what you are currently doing as long as you start doing it in a different way – the way a great leader would do it. No need for a fancy title, a big crowd of followers, or to deliver an endless slew of inspiring speeches.
The trick is to do simple but meaningful things. For example, deliver only high-quality work, nurture deep relationships, focus on being in service (though not being a servant), and strive to create a positive energy around you (through your words, actions and attitude). This will lead those who you work with to be uplifted and encouraged. As a leader, you take the initiative to create what you want for yourself and others; you don’t need to wait for it to be provided it to you. And that’s a gift you can give to yourself.
Be Proactive Rather Than Reactive
Too many people go through their days at work (and in life) having the “passive-mode” button on; they’re constantly reacting to situations. For example, they blame situations and people for what’s happening to them. If their work is not valued enough, it’s not their fault but the company’s fault because other people are not helpful enough, etc. They don’t take full responsibility of their choices, their feelings, their actions or their results. These people are the opposite of leaders, they are victims (or at least that’s how the see themselves). They wait for the ideal company to work for, they wait for a promotion, they wait until they are surrounded by the right colleagues, they wait until they have all the resources in place, they wait for something or somebody to save them. But while they are waiting, they spend most of their time complaining and feeling helpless. Just a fraction of their time is filled with taking meaningful actions.
Choose to See Yourself as a Leader
You don’t need to be perfect or even pretend to be perfect. Actually, quite the opposite. Accept the fact that you are not perfect, nor is the world around you. Both you and the world around you have limitations, but when you have acceptance as your starting point, you will not feel upset, disappointed, frustrated or angry about where you are. There is nothing wrong with the limitations that are inside and outside of you. Use hard work to improve on them, not to fight the reality you are in. Leaders create what they desire. They first give what they want to attract, they change what’s around them by using what they have available. Leaders develop a sense of ownership towards the situation they are in, even if they don’t have full control over it. Once you develop that sense of ownership towards your job, your tasks and your feelings, you will be able to lead yourself towards your destiny no matter what happens to you directly or around you.
Your mission as a leader shouldn’t be to try to eliminate limits from your life, but to find out where they are and then constantly work to expand them. This is the way you can grow, the way you can shape yourself and your work. This is the way you succeed.
You may be asking why now is a good time to start being a leader. Well, you have the freedom to behave in the way victims do, but why would you?
Here are some guidelines to start being a leader (whatever your position in the company is):
- Focus on being in service of people around you (this is different from being their servant). When you shift from a “getting” energy to a “giving” energy, you will notice a huge transformation.
- Accept where you are right now, and then focus on changing what is under your control and can be changed. Stop complaining about what you can’t control. Save that energy for your actions.
- Do your job at the highest level of quality you are capable of. There is lots of truth in the saying “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” Don’t underestimate the importance of the small stuff.
- Act with congruency, integrity, and authenticity.
- Share positive energy and make sure that you show your values through your actions.
Will you encounter challenges in being a leader in your workplace? You bet! Challenges are a key component of any game, but that’s why we play the game. Challenges allow us to give the best we can so the game gets exciting and worth being played. You can choose to play your game in any role you like, as long as you play as a leader. It’s way more fun than playing it as a victim.
Know a friend who would find this helpful? Let them know and share this article! If you have any additional questions on this topic, or need some agency advice, feel free to email Roberto.
A former executive in the banking industry, Roberto Erario holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master in Corporate and Executive Coaching. He’s a Licensed Business and Life NLP Coach, a Certified Master NLP Practitioner, and he’s been training and coaching executives and business owners in Europe and North America for the last 11 years. Major past clients include the following: Accenture, Siemens, Hilton Hotels, Dun & Bradstreet, Dorchester Group and Verind – Durr Group.