5 Ways to Be a Leader (Without Being Asked!)
A key career aim of many employees is to be a leader of a department, function or business, but normally to do this you need to progress up the management ladder. And to do that you need to be identified as management potential by the powers that be – and its vital that you display yourself as management potential again and again so when the opportunities for promotion arise you will be in a prime position to exploit them.
Below, we have set out five ways you can be a leader, even though you are not in a management position yet.
1. Seize the Initiative
In today’s difficult financial environment, many companies are finding themselves in operationally stressed positions, meaning that there may be a shortage of resources, managers, support and clients. In such environments, employees can find themselves operating in a climate of uncertainty, that is there may be a lack of on-going direction and leadership. Many employees cannot cope with this and respond by becoming negative, disenchanted and disengaged. But, the most able employees can seize the initiative during times of uncertainty by staying focused on the things that they can control and change. These employees set themselves apart from the rest and lead the way in remaining positive, staying fully committed to getting the job done, but also are not afraid to take the initiative in the absence of a leader.
2. Be a role model
There are situations within any business where teams have slipped into bad habits; this could be coming in to work late, always being late for meetings, failing to adopt the latest most efficient technologies etc.. It is easy to just follow the crowd and succumb to these bad habits, but it is also a great opportunity for you to show leadership (which will be noticed by managers), by bucking the trend and leading the way by being a role model to do things the right and intended way.
3. Lead your own career
Many businesses are good at creating a structured career path for employees to follow, but in many environments this does not happen and you have to fend for yourself. In these environments you need to show leadership to develop your career. This means that you should be able to take the initiative and approach your manager and ask to take on new responsibilities that can both develop you and begin to develop your career status.
4. Establish your own goals and objectives
The best way to show a manager that you can lead others by setting goals and objectives is to show you can lead yourself by setting your own goals and objectives. So, you should always be looking out for problems/issues and things that can be improved and then you should discuss this with your manager and agree a time period in which you can address these issues. This means you have led the way in setting your own goals.
5. Offer solutions not problems
Another great way to show leadership is to offer solutions not problems to your manager. You may be faced with a significant barrier or hurdle in your job. Of course you may need to ask your manager for your help, but don’t just present them with the raw problem. Rather think about it and develop two or three possible solutions to the problem and seek their approval to try them out. This is a great way to demonstrate leadership to your manager, because it shows that you do not become overwhelmed by problems, but rather when faced with a problem, you can pause, think clearly, and propose a work-able solution. This is another great way to show leadership.