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How to be a leader at work

Being a manager isn’t easy in the best of times. You’re responsible for so much. For example, just some of your duties might include:

  • Recruitment
  • Hiring
  • Training
  • Coaching
  • Monitoring
  • Motivating
  • Prioritizing
  • Planning
  • Evaluating
  • Disciplining

The list could continue for some time. Moreover, all of those responsibilities could fall upon your shoulders before it’s even noon. Plus, you have your own bosses to whom you must answer, and if you can’t handle all the duties you’re assigned, well then … maybe you aren’t the leader the company thought you were.

Another possibility is that you have the wrong idea of what a leader is and how one should behave. For instance, far too many people enter management because they’re grasping at power. They enjoy telling other people what to do, so obviously, management’s the way to go!

Others think leadership roles are the ticket to the good life. After all, isn’t it corporate leadership and the managers who get a company car, a phone, huge bonuses, and who get to go to fancy dinners and sip champagne?

The problem is that many don’t stop to think that there is a distinct difference between a true leader and a mere manager. One works their rear end off and inspires others to follow, usually deserving any perks they acquire in the process. The other is someone most employees rebel against and cannot abide.

So, if you want find out how to be a good leader, pay close attention to the leadership tips below.

Business Leader Talking To Employees
Image used with permission by copyright holder

You must have vision

A true leader doesn’t just share the goals and beliefs of the organization for which they work. They also look ahead and keep their eyes peeled for opportunity. They pay attention to trends and see how they can help their company capitalize on them early on. They are the ones who forge paths into the future, helping the company stay relevant. Above all, they do not always wait for orders from on high to seize the initiative. They already know what the company’s main objectives are, and they’re willing to go above and beyond to achieve them.

In the end, asking forgiveness is better than asking for permission, and no one achieved greatness by consistently avoiding risk.

Good leaders lead themselves first

Good leaders know they must walk the walk and not just talk the talk. No one wants to follow someone else who lives by a “do as I say, not as I do” mantra. Hypocrisy is a huge turnoff for the vast majority of people. So, before you go trying to get into a position of managing others, manage yourself first.

Do you believe in the ethics, vision, and goals of the company you work for? Can you honestly work to uphold them without fear of compromising your principles? If so, do you strive to put the company’s needs and, by extension, the needs of its employees (its most precious asset) above your own?

Do you work to ensure you have the necessary traits and skills of a true leader? Do you constantly work on self-improvement?

Leaders support their followers

Great leaders listen to those under them. They keep clear lines of communication open. They mentor others. They teach and admonish. They seek out new talent and help to raise up new leaders within the organization. They offer praise freely when a job is well-done. They reward others publicly.

When disagreements occur, they seek a way to resolve them constructively. They constantly work on developing relationships built on mutual respect. Remember, while it’s possible to get people to follow you by instilling fear in them, it’s far better to have employees who want to please you because they like and trust you.

Leaders know how to wield influence

Good leaders are often charismatic and know how to influence others. That sounds like an ability that could be used for evil, and it can. After all, there are evil leaders in this world. However, both good and bad leaders understand the power of personal influence. They know what motivates the people who work for them, and they use that to help inspire others to follow them.

Good leaders have a lot of emotional intelligence that allows them to connect with others to sway them toward a specific point of view. Most important of all, they lead by example. They realize that one of the most ideal ways to influence others is for people to see them live what they preach.

Female Business Leader Speaking To Employees
Image used with permission by copyright holder

True leadership

It’s not easy to know how to be a good leader at work. Being the one everyone turns to when they need guidance and support sounds great, but the responsibility is great. You must be prepared to invest in those whom you manage as well as yourself.

Remember that a good leader has a service mentality. By being the servant of all, you can discover what prevents your employees from being the best they can be, and you can fix it. You can help remove obstacles, provide necessary resources, and streamline processes.

Real leaders have vision, support followers, influence others, and passionately bring out the best in those with whom they work.

Will Blesch
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Will Blesch is a copywriter, content writer, and someone passionate about anything that lets him discover more about this…
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