Everyone benefits from having strong, positive role models at work – and it’s exciting when you get the opportunity to provide that inspiration for others. We’ve taken a look at some of the most important elements of leadership, so you can help others follow where you blaze a trail to greater success.
Lead in sharing
“If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.” – Melinda Gates
As Vince Lombardi once said, “leaders aren’t born, they are made”. Your leadership position has been earned through all your experiences, and you can help grow successful teams by sharing your journey with others. This can be part of a regular knowledge sharing programme, where you can lead the contributions and encourage others to own their expertise, and is an important part of regular one-to-one chats with your team.
Lead in listening
“You have to look at leadership through the eyes of the followers and you have to live the message. What I have learned is that people become motivated when you guide them to the source of their own power and when you make heroes out of employees who personify what you want to see in the organization.” -- Anita Roddick
As a leader, it can often be down to you to make the difficult decisions. But part of that is gathering all the data you need – which doesn’t mean you have to or should be an expert in everything. Create a culture where your door is open to information and ideas, and be sure to give credit where it’s due. Everyone benefits from a happy and successful team, and you can be confident you’re forging ahead based on solid insight.
Sometimes you’ll also need to listen for what isn’t there. More junior team members don’t always have the confidence to say what they want, or the experience to articulate what they need, so to provide good leadership you’ll need to learn the signs of a less happy workforce before it starts affecting staff turnover.
Lead in learning
“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakeley
Leaders benefit from mentorship too. Seek to create strong and supportive relationships with other leaders in your field, both internal and external to your business. A good leader will know that you can always seek to improve and develop your skills, and just as you’ll learn by example you’ll be able to lead by it, too.
Lead in future-proofing
“There is nothing like a concrete life plan to weigh you down. Because if you always have one eye on some future goal, you stop paying attention the the job at hand, miss opportunities that might arise, and stay fixedly on one path, even when a better, newer course might have opened up. “ - Indra Nooyi,
From a senior position, you have the advantage of more experience which can help you spot cycles and emerging trends. Keep an open dialogue with your team about the future, and share as much as you can about the direction and growth of the business you’re in and the landscape around it. Not only does that help reassure your team that there’s a firm hand at the helm, but it increases the opportunities for people to come to you with creative and innovative solutions for navigating bumps in the road or striking out ahead of the competition.