Are You a Leader or a Follower?
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Are You a Leader or a Follower?

how to be a leader at workBe a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. -Steve Jobs

If you want to become a leader, don’t wait for the fancy title or the corner office. You can begin to act, think, and communicate like a leader long before that coveted promotion. A skilled leader is a strong communicator, motivator and problem solver. Here are some strategies for becoming a successful leader in the workplace.

1. Learn to take responsibility for the good and the bad. That means, as long as you participate in a project, you have a hand at the success or failure of the project. Remember, you cannot learn if you have not made any mistakes.

2. Relationship building is the most fundamental element of becoming a leader. Establishing strong relationships with your colleagues enables them to trust and respect you, in turn giving them a reason to follow your lead, when appropriate.

3. Communicate clearly and honestly. One of the key strengths of strong leaders is their ability to communicate effectively across all levels. Don’t assume that everyone communicates and understands things the same way. Learn to pay attention, listen attentively, and ask clear questions from those around you.

4. Be proactive and take initiative. Seek out work in your own area or department and also look for opportunities outside your comfort zone. Volunteer for extra projects or ask to join a team to offer support. Demonstrate your willingness and desire to go the extra mile and show people you are willing to be a part of the bigger organization.

5. Believe in yourself. Having confidence in your own abilities gives you a healthier outlook on life and that leads to greater success in your job or other areas. A win-win attitude is essential for leaders and looking out for the best outcome for the good of all involved will encourage people to follow your lead. Check out 10 ways to be more confident at work from Forbes for more information.

6. Leaders are passionate. They are enthusiastic about their work and they even have the ability to rub this energy off on their followers. Do you take on assignments given to you enthusiastically? Do you have a positive attitude? This is a good behavior to start when developing leadership skills. You might be interested in our previous article on how to improve motivation if you’ve lost your passion.

7. Continue to develop your skill set. Search for ways to increase on-the-job skill training where appropriate. Participate in training seminars or conferences. Take formal courses to enhance specific skills or talents. Do whatever it takes to increase proficiency in areas of weakness and then determine what is needed to supplement those areas in your position.

8. Always collaborate. Being a good leader means being a good team player and working for the good of the entire organization. Start this process by collaborating with your coworkers on a regular basis. This generates quality ideas and increases unity throughout the office.

Developing leadership skills is a long process. But it is never too early or late to start developing leadership skills. Whether you are new to the workplace or honing your profession, you may aspire to become a leader in your organization some day.

By Samantha Collier

About Samantha Collier

Samantha Collier is a well-respected social media specialist in the Canadian legal realm. An experienced practitioner of online social networking, Samantha also has experience working in-house in business development for a national IP firm, but has worked in marketing and client acquisition for over 13 years.

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