When you think about “leadership” do you think about Top-level Executives? Politicians? Coaches? Now what about Customer Service Workers, Mechanics or Landscapers? Why does the concept of leadership seem to only apply to those with fancy titles or bigger pay cheques? Unfortunately if you picked the first group as obvious leadership material you’re not alone, so what can you do if you’re in the second group? Taking a page from Malcolm Gladwell’s new book “David and Goliath” you can use your underdog status to your advantage! How you ask?
By displaying leadership skills on the job, everyone around you will start to think of you as a leader and when that happens, well….you get the picture!
Steps that will show others that you are leadership material:
- It seems counterintuitive but some of the best leaders listen to the team. Those who talk over others or try to push their agendas come across as pushy when true confidence comes from taking all ideas into consideration and coming up with a solution that satisfies everyone.
- Lead by example! True leaders do what they say and follow through on commitments.
- True leaders aren’t afraid to get dirty! The business owners and high level executives that get the most respect from their staff are those who are willing to get outside their job descriptions to get things done.
- When push comes to shove true leaders lend support to their team when times gets tough, this shows they are in it for the long haul.
- Learn about others. I’ve met a few business owners over the years who’ve impressed me with their knowledge regarding their employees. I’m not talking about gossip or prying into their personal lives but rather displaying kindness and interest that shows they value people beyond what they can do for them.
- If you don’t always know the answer don’t be afraid to say so. But be willing and gracious enough to ask others or find out.
If you want to find out more about leadership check out some great books on the subject:
“Drive” by Dan Pink
“The Orange Revolution” by Godstick and Elton
“Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath
“The Goal” by Eli Goldratt
“Servant Leadership” by Robert Greenleaf
“Good to Great” by Jim Collins
“On becoming a leader” by Warren Bennis
“The 21 Irrefutable laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell