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8 Ways to Become a Leader in Your Organization
Stop waiting for leadership to hit you on the head. Here are 8 ways to become a leader in your organization instantly:
Many people believe that they need to be given a leadership role, accept a new title, or be given a position in the C-suite in order to be a leader. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Leadership is an opportunity and a responsibility (albeit a rewarding one) and one that I guarantee is available to you right now no matter where you work.
Here Are 8 Proven Ways to Immediately Become a Leader at Work
1. Seek opportunities to learn and grow
Ask your supervisor for opportunities to learn within the organization and volunteer to participate in any meetings or brainstorming sessions that are available. If this isn’t possible, consider researching certifications or training programs outside of work to learn new skills and connect with new experts in your industry. I recommend LinkedIn learning as a good place to start for tech Nigel skills and for improving your leadership and soft skills, Dale Carnegie has many opportunities.
2. Connect with your colleagues
Don’t underestimate the learning and friendship opportunities within your own team. Sometimes spending time and building friendships with the people you work with is the best way to grow and learn more about the culture and community within your organization. Seek out coworkers who have been in the organization for a long period of time or those in a position that you’d like to one day be in and ask them to share their experiences.
Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to higher-ups and when appropriate, ask them for mentorship or advice. See if there are ways you can help them (even if it’s just bringing them coffee in the morning), so there’s a give and take and you’re also offering something.
3. Introduce a new idea or innovation
Don’t assume that this is only for higher-ups. I’m an organization with a healthy culture, leadership will welcome your ideas and input. When done correctly this can be a powerful tool for obtaining a leadership role now or in the future. Offering suggestions for improvement or ideas to help with strategy shows that you care about the growth of the organization and take an interest in where it’s heading.
Invest time in learning who does what and how everyone’s roles contribute to the overall mission and then look for efficiencies and enhancements to improve it. If you present an idea, be open to feedback and critique and use it to continue innovating and thinking of even more ideas. Just because something has never been done before in an organization doesn’t mean it can’t be. If you present a new idea, make sure it’s practical and realistic and come prepared with ways to begin implementing it.
4. Mentor a new employee
Some organizations have a program where you can sign up to mentor a new employee. Do it! Even if there is no program like this, you can ‘unofficially’ mentor a new employee by introducing yourself on their first day, checking in on them, and asking if there’s anything you could do to support their move. Being a new employee is hard (we’ve all been there) and having a friendly face to talk to or ask for help when you’re adjusting to a new role and/ or company can make an enormous difference.
5. Build relationships with everyone you interact with
This can be clients, partners, colleagues, and even leadership. Every relationship is valuable and meaningful and should be treated as such. Look out for others however you can. I know it’s not easy but if someone else is promoted to a role that you were hoping for or wanted, perhaps it’s time to look for a new job but in the meantime work on being happy for them instead of negative and offer your support and best wishes where possible. Harboring ill-will will only serve to hurt you in the long run.
6. Be an ambassador for the organization’s mission
Every employee has the potential to help or hinder an organization’s mission. Make sure you know what the organization is working to accomplish and that you’re doing everything in your power to help them fulfill it. As an employee, you make a difference and your buy-in is essential for this achievement. Ask yourself, is this a company and culture that I’m proud to work for? Would I recommend it to my best friend and am I glad to represent this mission? If you answered no to any of these questions, perhaps it’s time to make a change. (Let’s have a conversation.)
7. Learn about the organization’s history and vision
Sometimes you need to look back in order to move forward. Ask your leadership how the organization was formed, and what circumstances occurred that led them to believe there was a need. No different than learning about your own ancestry or family history, sometimes, understanding the origins of a business helps give it context and sheds light on where they’re heading and why it’s important in the grand scheme of things.
8. Focus on the positive
Every organization has strengths and areas for improvement. Make gratitude a daily practice. Try to look for the good in your organization and be grateful for it. One thing I like to do is to find one new thing every day to be grateful for at work and spend time reflecting on it. This is one way to truly become a leader that people want to follow.
In our organization, we have a practice in our weekly company-wide meeting, where every employee publicly shares one thing they’re grateful for in another employee or in the company. This promotes a spirit of winning and camaraderie within the team and organization.
About the Author
Name: Esther Deutsch
Professional Title: Operations Manager, Author, & Co-Founder
Bio: Esther holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s degree in Business. She is passionate about bringing her business background and love of people to the RCS team as well as to her role as an adjunct teacher at Lackawanna College, career and leadership trainer, and advisor to a technology startup: MarketIntent.AI. Together with her friend Luke, Esther co-hosts a networking community to help bring business professionals together: www.inthistogetherroundtable.com. She also enjoys volunteering; especially with groups for women in technology and ran a mission trip to teach coding to young girls in the country of Belize.
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