You don’t need to be the CEO in your organization – you can be a leader without being the leader.
If you’re ambitious and aspire to be a leader with a title, then these tips will help you achieve that. But if you want to feel more fulfilled, have more impact and embrace your role more fully, then these 7 little tweaks in attitude and actions will have a big impact on how you feel about yourself – and how others perceive you.
7 Little Acts of Leadership
- Show up and pay attention. ‘Wherever you are, be there’, the saying goes. Be present, whether you’re there in person, over the phone or via Skype. Give your attention to the person you’re with, the project you’re working on, the meeting you’re in – it’s your gift to the situation. You’ll foster confidence in yourself from others, grow their trust and be more engaged.
- Listen so they’ll talk.Which means stop talking all the time. Active listening skills take time and practice to develop properly but you can make a great start by learning not to interrupt.
- Talk so they’ll listen. Be succinct, to the point and relevant. Understand how others like to communicate and ensure you can match their style as much as possible.
- Understand your role. Can you sum up what you, and why you do it, in a sentence? Being able to do this will make it easier for you to motivate yourself and communicate your worth to others. The story goes that when JFK visited NASA in the mid-60s, a janitor told him that he was putting a man on the moon. What’s your own equivalent?
- Take responsibility. Not only for all the decision that you make, (and the outcomes) but for finding solutions and answers to challenges that may involve your wider team. How can you serve, not apportion blame?
- Be calm. While others around you may be generating enough electricity to fuel the national grid, an oasis of calm is reassuring and safe. Be someone who is in control – of your emotions, the situation, the outcome. Respond, don’t react.
- Be current. In his excellent book, Embodied Leadership, Pete Hamill recommends a daily practice of reading for 20 minutes a day. He argues that being focused, making notes, and putting into action what you read will mean you will ‘…notice a difference in your knowledge and understanding of your leadership, your organization and your industry, and so will those around you!’
Starting with any one of these little acts of leadership will enhance your impact – just imagine adopting them all.
Where will you start?
I’m Susan Ritchie and I help ambitious women to drive their career by teaching them strategies for impact and influence. If you’d like to take your career up a notch this year, you can download 10 Steps To Instant Impact: How To Be Really Seen And Heard At Work for free.