While I don’t write much on leadership, most of my clients are in leadership positions. Still, while they may be executives, leadership means much more than simply a title. If you are taking charge of your career and manage projects and push forward initiatives, then you are a leader.
Read You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader by Mark Sanborn to know that I’m not the only one with that opinion.
Still, I do think it’s important to identify, hone and employ your leadership strengths on a routine basis. This doesn’t mean puffing up your chest and intimidating others around you. (Although I’ve seen people who believe that is a key leadership ability. Haven’t you?)
What I’m talking about are the strengths that make you a visionary that people want to align themselves with. Some of these strengths and characteristics should include:
- Transparency. Be an open and honest communicator and keep others abreast of your ideas and progress;
- Questioning. Ask lots of questions, listen deeply and open the door to discussions and new ideas to empower your team and build trust;
- Recognizing. Being valued and recognized is something we all crave. That is why when leaders acknowledge others’ wins and ideas they garner loyalty and productivity from those around them;
- Vulnerability. Who doesn’t want to work with someone who is just like them? That includes the willingness to admit mistakes or lack of expertise. Being a leader doesn’t mean you’re perfect and when you act like you are, you will ostracize others;
- Challenging. Don’t forget the reason you are a leader—you are constantly challenging yourself to grow, learn and take risks. This is something that you should expect from others you work with. This is what free enterprise is all about. But in order to inspire others to step up to the plate you have to model your willingness to take on new challenges every day.
How to Be Career Happy? Employ Your Leadership Strengths Every Day