It is crucial to develop leadership skills at your place of work, no matter the position you have. This will enable you to improve how you perform and even change your attitude and view towards work. Leadership skills will also be very fundamental in helping you build your career trajectory. With the right mindset and guidance, you can take charge and lead in any industry.
What is Leadership?
Leadership is the ability to guide the people under you or your co-workers towards achieving the best results and success with the set workplace objectives. When people are working as a team in a company or organization, there is a need to ensure that they are on the same page and working towards a common goal. Therefore, a leader is needed to ensure that the team collaborates towards that.
Being a leader is all about how and what people can learn from you, seek your expertise, experience, and advice, and are inspired by you.
Leadership comes in various forms and levels. However, it does not matter whether you are the CEO or just managing a project; the leadership skills you portray will help others reach their desired and set goals. Some of the common and essential leadership skills include: communication, creativity, motivation, feedback, and even positivity
10 Ways of Showing Leadership by Example
Everybody is born a leader. All you will need is to acquire the right skills, horn them, gain the knowledge and experience required in your field, and empower others. Discussed below are ways that you can show leadership by example in your field.
1. Being a Thoughtful Leader
You should be able to portray to your team that you have a strategic vision in place. Do your research and ensure that you know what is happening in your industry. This will enable you to be on the leading edge of what you do.
You can start by finding material relevant to your field and sharing that with your team. These can be news articles, published works, or even case studies done. One crucial factor to keep in mind while doing this is to always share the context. This is crucial as it could make or ruin your reputation if you are taken out of context. While sharing other people’s work, you can always add your own commentary or opinions. If you use social media such as Twitter to share, you should interact with the comments you get on your post as it could be important feedback and help you network.
After sharing other people’s work and offering your opinion every now and then, you will find your own voice and be able to come up with ideas about trends and how your industry operates. It would help if you shared them as your own work by either starting a blog, publishing a case study, or make a publication. By doing all these, you will be inventing yourself as a thought leader and can start to speak as a panelist in meetings and industry workshops.
2. Communicating Clearly
Leadership demands that one be a very good communicator. This is because communication can either make or break an organization. Clarity is essential when you want to get things done. When delegating work, exchanging ideas, or giving a report, you need to be as precise as possible. When dealing with people who are not on your level or you want to explain something to even a layman, use simple language but still ensure that they can understand you.
Nonverbal communication can also come in handy, whereby you can use eye contact, hand gestures, and your body language to emphasize essential points and relay your message.
You should also note that part of communicating as a leader is to be able to listen to your team and the people around you. You should be open and receptive to other people’s ideas and be willing to learn their views and approach to things. You are not always right, and neither do you always know everything. Part of being a leader is a never-ending cycle of learning. Take everyone’s idea into consideration. By doing so, you will also be able to earn respect from your team as they see that you listen and respect their ideas as well.
3. Focusing on The Big Picture Always
As a leader, you should avoid getting stuck and maintaining a limited view of your position. By having the big picture in mind, you are able to always encourage your team to work towards achieving the end goal and desired results. You will also be able to make better decisions and handle necessary changes effectively.
You can always look at other industries and borrow some ideas from there to help you consider the bigger picture. This can also help you in creative problem-solving.
4. Having a Mentor/ Role Model
A mentor is a person that is more experienced than you are in your field, that shares with you the knowledge and experience that they have gained over the years. By having such a person, you will be able to acquire insight and even get advice that will be instrumental in developing and shaping your leadership skills. This will also help you grow your career goals.
To find a mentor, just think of where you see yourself in the next 10-20 years professionally. After considering the challenges and hurdles, you will need to overcome and the skills you need to acquire and master, find someone you admire professionally that can offer you guidance.
Your mentor does not have to be specifically from your organization. You can get one from a different company, someone from a different field, or hire a professional career coach. This will depend on the skills that you are looking to learn and grow.
5. Being a Good Networker
It would help if you interacted with great leaders who can help you work on and improve your leadership skills. You can seek people in managerial positions who you admire and invite them for informational interviews or even informal meetings such as having lunch together. You can join professional associations in your field to expand your contacts. You can also be attending workshops, seminars, and panel discussions relating to your field since you are most likely to meet the movers and shakers of your industry there.
It would be best if you also talked to your colleagues and team about what you learn from the workshops and encourage them to join the associations as well. By volunteering to head certain committees or helping in organizing events, you build and work on your leadership skills.
Even as you network, keep in mind to do so with purpose. It is not about the number of seminars you attend but instead what you gain and learn from them. Quality over quantity, always! The best connections you will be able to make as a leader are purposeful. As an excellent leader, you should be able to find a way to work or collaborate or connect again in the future.
6. Thinking Positively and Proactively
If a project fails, you as the leader should not dwell on what went wrong and finding excuses or playing blame games. An excellent leader does not also have time for small talk and unproductivity. Instead, proactively seek a solution to better things, solve a problem, and grow the business.
Set a good example to the team by thinking positively. This will also help improve their attitude towards work and even motivate them. Having them excited about their work will generally improve and change the work environment, and it will be easier to get things done in such an atmosphere. It would be best if you aimed to serve as a role model even when you do not think you have an audience. By doing so, you will be continually improving your performance.
Always seek solutions on how to solve a problem. You can also exchange ideas with your team to learn how to make things better and come up with solutions together. Take up new tasks with enthusiasm and excitement, as this will also enable your team to approach them in a similar manner.
As a leader, you should also note when a co-worker outdoes themselves and encourage them. Give credit where it is due. This will motivate them to keep doing the same and produce even better results. By empowering your team members, you build their confidence, and the output will, in turn, improve.
7. Being Diverse
Embracing diversity as a leader is critical as it fosters work relations and allows for things to run smoothly. We all cant think the same, and we all cannot have the same approach towards things. Therefore, diversity is more than just employing people of different ages, gender, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.
Diversity is all about embracing different personalities, ideas, and approaches towards the tasks at hand. As a leader, you should encourage the team members to speak their minds and not force them to all see things your way. It is the team’s different viewpoints that can help resolve issues and come up with breakthroughs.
The different approaches also offer everyone a learning opportunity. When one way fails, you can adopt the other way and so on until a solution is arrived at.
8. Taking Responsibility
One important sign of excellent leadership is the ability to take responsibility when the performance and results are excellent and when things don’t work out or fail. You should be able to account for your contribution to the failure just like you would when the outcome would be great. Finding excuses and blaming others when the outcome is poor is not a sign of good leadership.
You should be able to acknowledge when certain systems need to be worked on and improved. You should also be able to spend your time to make the necessary adjustments for improvement. By showing that you can be trusted to take both praise and criticism, you portray that you are a stable and trustworthy leader.
9. Taking Up Management Training and Building Own Strengths
To demonstrate that you are willing to be committed to becoming an exemplary leader, you can take up management classes. You can also inquire and seek your superiors at work to offer you internal training. You can also go out of your way and outsource external training and ways of honing your skills professionally. Creating a list of the areas you are interested in shaping will come in very handy when deciding where to start.
You should also participate in the personality assessments that the company normally gives. These will help you understand how to approach and tackle different problems and help you with your interactions with others.
Seeking leadership coaching is also essential as you will learn what your strengths are and how to master them. The coaching will also help you develop your leadership style and improve your management skills. It will also offer you a lifelong change and growth in mindset.
10. Mastering Work and Giving All
Leadership is not all about barking commands for people to do things while you network. To lead as a strong example, you need to demonstrate that you know your job and that you are good at it. The only way you will earn respect from your colleagues is if you are nailing at your job. Always turn in your projects in good time and do a great job at it. You should be able to get your tasks done on time while still getting involved I your field. This will help you build your credibility as a leader.
You should also be constantly on the lookout on how to improve yourself and your skills. It would be best if you were willing to expand your experience and knowledge; after all, learning never stops. This way, you can showcase that you are willing to grow. Giving your best shot in every situation demonstrates your strong work ethic and need for excellence.
A leader needs to be an example to the workforce. These ten practices will tell whether you are a good leader or not. Therefore, practice them.