How to be a leader at work

Traditional coaching styles in four quadrants

How to Be a Leader? Your Way to Greatness

At some point during your career, the time will come when you are required to step up and become a leader. You may find yourself managing a team of people, running your own business, or even just trying to inspire a colleague. While it may seem like some people are natural leaders, there are many leadership skills you can develop even if you feel like leadership does not come naturally to you. Read on so you can learn how to be a leader.

1. Becoming an Expert

By performing exceptionally well in your current role, you can get noticed as someone who is willing to grow within your organization. This will provide a path to a position of influence.

2. Keep Learning

The only way that you will be able to become an effective leader is by learning and adopting good leadership traits. This will require constantly working on your leadership skills, as well as becoming better at your job role.

3. Empower Teammates

Rather than being critical, be a mentor to others when they lack certain knowledge or skills. Provide them the guidance they need to succeed. Support them in their pursuit of improvement and show them that you have confidence in their abilities.

4. Take Risks

Sometimes tough choices have to be made for the good of the entire organization. When making such choices, remember to remain accountable for your actions and make sure that team members are held accountable as well. Do not let the fear of criticism prevent progress.

5. Be a Team Player

A close knit team and their leader
Photo by Rebrand Cities from Pexels

6. Listen to Criticism

While hearing criticism is never pleasant, understanding the error of your ways will allow you to grow as a leader. This way, you will be less likely to repeat past mistakes. Also make sure to ask your superior for honest feedback so that you can continue to improve in your own job role.

7. Care for Team Members

Not only will compassion earn you admiration from team members, but listening to and addressing their needs will increase their job satisfaction. A caring leader can bridge the gap between the needs of workers and their organization.

8. Confidence

Displaying confidence in your team members’ abilities will help them to believe in themselves. By placing your trust in them to get the job done, they will start trusting you in return.

9. Recognize Talent

By identifying your team members’ unique strengths, you can place them in suitable roles that will help them exceed. You can also help them to become well-rounded individuals by helping overcome their weaknesses.

10. Flexibility

Once your subordinates know how to perform their job functions, provide them with the freedom to complete tasks using whatever method they deem fit. There is no need to get in the way of someone who knows how to get the job done.

11. Do Not Micromanage

By micromanaging, you are not providing subordinates with the independence that they need in order to excel in their roles on their own. By stepping back and giving them the freedom to develop on their own, you are placing your faith in your team.

12. Get Leader-like Skills

13. Leverage Your Team

You cannot do all of the work on your own. Sometimes you will need to rely on team members to carry out tasks on your behalf. This means placing your faith in them and providing them with the authority to act in your capacity when you are unavailable to do so.

14. Communicate Effectively

Learn to express to subordinates exactly what work needs to be done and why. Ensure that you provide them an understanding of the goal that you are trying to achieve. Make sure that they understand the potential challenges that face them, and provide them with recommendations on how to overcome them.

15. Manage Your Emotions

Your emotions often dictate the energy inside the office. If you keep your emotions in check and inspire an air of confidence, then you will provide your team members with a positive work environment.

16. Take Responsibility

17. Delegate

By providing team members with the authority to complete important tasks on their own, you are showing them that you trust in their abilities. This not only boosts their self confidence but develops their trust in you.

18. Keep Promises

19. Commit to Growth

Rather than just committing to your own personal growth, take an interest in other team members’ growth as well. As team members grow in their abilities, so too will service levels and operational efficiency improve.

What is true leadership at work?

You can probably think of great leaders, and not just in business: Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Nelson Mandela and Gandhi all fit the bill. So what’s the difference between how to be a leader at work and in other situations? Being a leader at work involves a specific set of skills that anyone can develop with practice.

– Vision

Employees often look out for themselves and potentially their immediate coworkers; they certainly don’t have the company’s values at heart. While this may not seem that important, you’d be surprised how rare it is to find an employee who can verbalize the goals and beliefs of the organization they work for. That’s why leaders are more than employees – they embody the vision of the company. A true leader has a deep understanding of the company’s mission and believes in its core values .

– Influence

Leaders don’t get far if others won’t follow them. When an employee keeps the cultural mainstays of the company at the forefront of all they do, they are in a better position to influence others . This is often where leadership at work begins – not in an executive office, but out in the bullpen or in the field : making connections and creating goodwill that is based on a genuine interest in others.

– Emotional intelligence

This is the ability to understand others’ feelings and reciprocate in kind, while also controlling your own emotions. Emotional intelligence requires deep self-awareness, social awareness, empathy and humility – but it can be developed and practiced. In one study, 71 percent of managers valued emotional intelligence (EQ) more highly than intellectual intelligence (IQ), and experts agree that a high EQ correlates directly with being a leader at work.

how to become a leader at work

07 How to Lead a Team to Success

Success is measured and defined differently by all, which means that good information on how to lead your team to success or understanding what makes a successful team can be hard to find. Before you know how to lead, you need to know what a successful team looks like.

CliftonStrengths makes this easier. Having team members discover, develop and lead with their strengths can lead to higher employee engagement and performance, which are outcomes of a successful team. However, they aren’t the most important outcomes because giving your employees the opportunity to do what they do best is the greatest measure of a successful team.

Conventional wisdom says that to become a better leader, you should develop the areas where you are naturally weak. And to be a good leader, you encourage your team to do the same. But CliftonStrengths says you should invest in the places where you’re naturally strong.

Button to play Understand Your Greatest Strengths: What Leaders Can Do video

Position individuals to do what they do best, better use each individual’s strengths, build more effective partnerships and teams, and then mobilize the team to increase individual and team effectiveness.

08 Leadership Development

If your attempts to develop in the past have fallen short, it may be because too few leadership development programs can clearly define the experiences that lead to excellence in leadership. They don’t individualize, they can’t match leader to experience at the time it’s most needed, and they don’t help leaders analyze their experiences so they can effectively apply them in the future.

1 We believe that knowing your strengths is a great foundation for creating a leadership development plan. When you take the CliftonStrengths assessment, you will get a report with personalized results. Our CliftonStrengths 34 report (featuring all 34 strengths in rank order) will help you discover what you do best and give you the confidence to live and work every day using those strengths.

The descriptions of your top strengths, and the order in which they appear, will be unique to you. Because just as we believe that no two leaders lead the same way, we also believe that no two people have the same strengths.

2 Learn to identify your own key experiences. Key experiences are some of the most critical components of leader success. Put simply, “Key experiences are events in a leader’s life that result in learning, growth and/or increased capacity to effectively lead.” Every role and every industry looks different, but key experiences are one of the foundational elements to leadership development anywhere.

Although those key experiences will look different for each person, you can notice a pattern or commonality between them all. Embracing new situations and being uncomfortable are important parts of developing as a leader. When things look tough, lean in. That’s where growth happens.

3 Take a look at the seven expectations for leaders. If you truly want to develop, those are where you should begin. Start with a self-assessment. At first glance, which one of these core leadership competencies do you do really well? How can you get even better? Then determine which one doesn’t come as naturally. How can you use your natural strengths to develop it?