How To Be An Inspiring Leader (Even If You’re Not in a Position of Authority)
You don’t need to be in charge to be someone others look to for guidance and leadership. Managers are constantly looking for standout colleagues they can trust who can command the reins while away from the team on pressing business. Here are a few specific ways you can become an inspiring leader.
Help Others Detach Fear From The Unknown
When there’s an apparent lack of leadership, imagination may run wild, leading to destructive speculation about what disasters await failure should a decision or project go awry. Instead of feeding the fear. Be the inspiring leader who diffuses those fears. Keep everyone focused on the task and the positive outcome that awaits the team once the work is done. You’ll become the person people approach for guidance when they experience unfounded fears over unknowable outcomes.
Be The One Who Listens
Everyone likes to hear themselves talk, especially when there’s no clear focus in the room, like a team leader or manager. Instead of competing to be the loudest voice in the room, listen. Qualify the ideas of others who speak up and bring others into the conversation by prompting their thoughts on the matter. By bringing everyone together through active listening and supporting your colleagues’ ideas, you’ll grow to become an anchor people look to for support when they’re trying to relay their ideas to the rest of the team.
We’ve all been in a meeting where the second the manager in charge leaves the room; someone starts bad-mouthing their decision-making or directives. The time to nip that destructive talk is the first time it happens, but it’s never too late to step up and remind everyone to exercise a little professionalism. There are productive ways to disagree with management, but once a direction has been chosen, it’s the team’s job to deliver, and being the glue that holds a group in unison by dispelling destructive talk makes you someone who can be trusted to say what needs to be said.
When You Notice Greatness In Others, Say So
It’s encouraging to hear you’re doing well from your peers. Most people can spot a shallow or self-serving compliment from a mile away. Still, you’ll genuinely connect with your colleague whenever you can zero in on a specific, work-related job done exceptionally. Beyond that, tell their superiors what a great job they’re doing, especially if you’re on the same upward trajectory within the company! Doing so expresses confidence that others will value and look to whenever a genuine opinion is needed come performance review time.
You Don’t Have To Be in a Position of Authority To Be A Great Leader
Ultimately, someone has to take the lead in group work settings to maintain focus, direction, and cohesion when the boss leaves her team to achieve their goals. That leader may as well be you. Consider these ideas, and when you see an opportunity to flex your leadership muscles, go for it! It takes time and lots of practice to become a great leader. Every opportunity is another chance to grow into the type of person others look to for guidance, inspiration, feedback, and reassurance. Get out there and cultivate your leadership qualities in your next team setting!