Throughout our careers, we have been conditioned to think that to become a leader at work, you have to be in a position of power. While this is sometimes the case, true leadership can come from anywhere. Because it’s not your job title in a company that allows for great leadership, but rather it’s the commitment to creating positive change in both yourself and in others that will help you stand out and be recognised for your efforts. As an aspiring leader though, the question you should ask yourself: “Why would anyone follow me?”. It takes a lot of courage to step up to lead in a company. And no one will follow if you’re not leading for the right reasons, so think carefully about why you’re pursuing it. Afterall, talent seeks out other talent. And talented employees typically want leaders who can open their world up to new opportunities and make them a better person.
Whether you’re currently working as a senior manager or a contract employee, if you’re aspiring to become a true leader in the workplace – someone who can influence others to give more, do more and become more – take a look at these qualities to see if they match how you portray yourself at work.
1) BRING OUT THE BEST IN OTHERS: Great leaders don’t operate in isolation. To achieve amazing results, your own contributions won’t be enough – you need to tap into a broader pool of talent by elevating the performance of everyone around you. Everyone has the potential to grow and improve in their role, so if you can make people more confident about achieving bigger goals, you will demonstrate your ability to lead.
2) BE GENUINE AND AUTHENTIC: You need to know who you are, what you stand for, and not be afraid to let others see your core values, strengths and weaknesses. Yes, it may be uncomfortable showing weakness in the workplace, but it’s level of trust in the people around you that will help to warm them to you. Be transparent and let everyone know what’s happening in a way that is genuine and maintains a level of professionalism.
3) INSPIRE THROUGH YOUR WORDS AND ACTIONS: You may have big goals and a compelling vision for the company, but it’s your ability to communicate and inspire others to act that will make people remember you. You must appeal to people’s emotions through the use of stories, images, and any other ways that help to move people towards taking action. If you can give people a sense of ownership in the projects they’re involved in, they’re likely to perform to the best of their ability.
4) HAVE A PROFESSIONAL PRESENCE: As a leader, you need to pay attention, listen to those around you and ask great questions. Through making everyone feel like they are being valued and heard, it’s more likely that when you do speak in a group setting or one-to-one with people, you will command attention.
5) BE SOMEONE OTHERS CAN TRUST: Do people trust you? It’s something that’s difficult to measure and can take some time to gain, but effective leaders inspire trust. You need to clearly communicate what you mean, mean what you say, and ensure you have completed what you promised to do. Along with this, you need to be trusting of those around you, and hopefully, in return, they will trust you as well for instilling that faith in them.
6) PRACTICE ACCOUNTABILITY: It’s simple. You need to be accountable to your stakeholders, and more importantly, your team. If you make a mistake (it will happen), you should never point fingers at others or make any flimsy excuses. Be accountable for everything you do and also hold others accountable for the same.
7) DRIVE GREAT RESULTS: Demonstrating the qualities of a leader isn’t enough. You need to be able to set bold visions, ambitious goals and deliver the results that have a measurable impact on the business. If you’re relentless with achieving goals, enjoy celebrating the “wins” with your team and help to make everyone feel like they have achieved a victory, you will be on the right path.
8) BE POSITIVE AND CONFIDENT: People tend to gravitate towards those that are positive. If you want to be a great leader, you need to have the ability to be passionate, confident and optimistic without becoming arrogant. The ability to motivate those around you and energising them with excitement about projects will help to set you apart from others who see work as a chore.
9 PROMOTE AND DRIVE CHANGE: Being able to have a results-focused mindset while also inspiring others is one thing, but you also need to understand the ability to drive change at both a personal and organisational level.
10) EMPOWER OTHERS: Leaders can’t be successful if they try to be an individual contributor. They need to be great at delegating tasks, understanding the motivational power of passing control to others and never abuse their power through reckless behaviour.
If you’d like to find out more about what qualities make a great leader and the senior level roles we’re hiring for at the moment then reach out to our team – we’d love to hear from you!