You have probably heard it said… leadership is not a title or position… it is influence and the ability to deliver results.
Everyone has influence and is expected to deliver results.
When you think about and unpack that statement…there is a leader inside EVERYONE. Your aspirations may not include being a supervisor, manager or executive. But don’t limit your growth. As you invest in developing the leader within, you will unlock potential, gain greater confidence, and sharpen your communication skills. Investing in your own development is a no risk investment with a high rate of return… for you! As your leader within develops, it is impossible to stop the benefits from overflowing into your confidence, results, relationships, impact, and influence that directly add value to those around you. That is what happens when people lead themselves well. Like a pebble dropped into water creating an endless ripple, so is the rippling impact you have as a result of developing the leader within.
Leading self takes commitment, effort and patience. It involves investing in discovery and development. When you invest intentional effort to develop self-awareness, practice reflection, seek feedback from trusted sources and discover your strengths you will gain insight into leading yourself well. As you unlock and develop more of your potential, you feel more confident to share solutions to problems, remain composed under pressure and take initiative to lead a project.
Consider these 5 leadership tips that will help you to unlock and develop your potential, and begin to lead yourself well:
Invest in Yourself. There is no greater investment. It is one of the few investments where you have 100% control of the rate of return. Where do you invest your hard-earned money? Is investing in your growth a priority? Investing time, resources and sometimes money in yourself benefits you and everyone around you.
Self-Awareness. Consider who you influence. Who do you influence daily, at work? School? In your community? Your influence adds (or subtracts) value with coworkers in your department, and others in your organization. Do you interact with customers, clients, students, patients? Your influence, positive or negative, impacts everyone you interact with.
Reflect. Think about your words, actions, and attitude and how they impact your co-workers and department climate. Think of your influence like a gauge. Everything you do/don’t do, say and don’t say and how you say it (tone, body language, word choice), moves the gauge more towards a positive work environment or a negative one. Ask yourself, “are my actions, words and attitude contributing positively to the work climate? Do I add value to everyone I interact with? Do I leave people, the workplace, the world a better place every day?”
Seek Feedback. Ask trusted colleagues (peers, supervisor, etc.). for their feedback on what you do that adds value to the work environment and team. Also, ask if there are areas you need to improve on. That request can be hard, and the answers may sting, but their feedback is a gift of great value. Heed their feedback and invest in making changes in the areas they have identified.
Develop a Growth Plan. Identify areas you will invest effort for intentional growth. Share your plan with a trusted colleague. Accountability is a powerful force in reaching goals. Include check points in your plan to reflect on your progress, celebrate your growth and make revisions where needed. Growth is not a “one and done” process. Make the commitment to yourself for a lifelong journey of continuous growth.
Every individual (not just managers, executives, or supervisors) has influence, and every individual is expected to deliver results.
Leading yourself well directly impacts your confidence, composure and communication, preparing you for opportunities. When opportunities cross your path, it is too late to get prepared. It is not a matter of if opportunities will come, but when.
Every individual, not just people in leadership positions, benefit from developing their composure, problem solving, communication, emotional intelligence and team building skills. Investing in developing your “leader within” is one of the best investments you can make and there is no limit to the return on your investment. If you heard about a no risk stock investment, with a promising guaranteed rate of return, you would invest immediately. Who wouldn’t? Investing in yourself is no different. If not now, when?