Create A Vision
An effective leader creates a vision. Vision gives you direction to help you lead your team and take your work unit where you want it to go. Make your vision compelling, optimistic, and let your employees “see the mountain top” in their mind’s eye. Also, create a personal vision statement for yourself. Where do personally want be in the near future.
A leader prepares before a crisis develops. Identify potential problems and plan solutions before it becomes necessary to implement them. Think upstream and analyze work challenges, know where to turn quickly for help so you can adapt to new circumstances and opportunities. Always maintain optimism. Optimism is infectious and instills hope.
To use your talents to your best advantage, you must understand yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths effectively and compensate for your weaknesses by selecting work opportunities that take advantage of your abilities, and choose workers and colleagues who can compensate for weaknesses with the skills it takes to succeed. Above all, know who will be honest with you. Be honest with yourself. Get a mentor who will confront you with the goal of your learning about yourself. These things will help you direct your destiny.
Once you have a vision, take action! As a leader, you must respond to a crisis with a plan and the skills to make sure that plan is carried out effectively. Always decide to take charge rather than see who tells you what to do. Leaders act—they do more than just talk. They show others how to jump in.
Leaders are visionaries: knowledgeable and courageous employees who have the ability to think and act in ways that encourage others to trust and follow them. Anyone can be a leader. The trick is to develop leadership skills. Here are some tips to discover the leader in you.
Strive for excellence in all that you undertake, but don’t expect perfection. Maintain high standards and give credit where it is due. Praise employees frequently and inspire them to do produce.
Be willing to take risks and move out of your comfort zone. This will build your self-confidence and others’ trust in you. Always try to use win-win solutions when conflict develops. In the long run, it’s never good for a leader to be autocratic and egotistical. Always be open to others’ points of view, and preserve the dignity of everyone involved in a project. Leadership means building and empowering teams.
Take charge of your career. Don’t wait for others to suggest educational opportunities or possible promotions. Seek out opportunities to grow. Become a credible and trusted resource for others in the organization. Build your brand as a real expert in one or two areas to make yourself nearly indispensable.
Make sure the “powers that be” know of your successes. Too often, executives keep track of mistakes employees make rather than successes. Keep a ready list of your accomplishments, update it, and use it at performance reviews. Always be able to say what your big success will be.
To be a leader, you must be able to communicate effectively with everyone including top management. Develop social and engagement skills, understand the politics, and communicate, communicate, communicate.
Be A Role Model
A leader inspires others by role-modeling compassion, commitment, effort, integrity, teamwork, good communication, vision, and… coming to work on time!
Compliment Your Values
Join an organization with values and goals similar to your own. You will be more likely to become a leader in an environment that respects your values and goals.
Choose a personal “advisory board” of colleagues for guidance and support. Forge alliances with people who appreciate and understand you. Your “advisory board” will assist you with personal development and job challenges. Choose colleagues whom you would like to emulate, as well as those who have special expertise, are powerful leaders, trustworthy, and understand corporate culture.