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Are you a leader at work?
5 qualities that define a true leader in the workplace
We’ve been conditioned to think that to be a leader at work, you have to be in a position of power. But true leadership can come from anywhere. Because it’s not your job title that allows for great leadership, it’s the commitment to creating positive change in yourself and in others.
Whether senior manager or contract employee, if you want to become a true leader in the workplace — someone who influences others to do more, be more, and give more — start here, by asking yourself if you possess these core qualities:
ARE YOU EMOTIONALLY FIT?
Extraordinary leaders bring certainty into uncertain environments. That doesn’t mean that you have all the answers, but you do have the inner conviction that you can find the answer and move forward. The key is emotional fitness — a state of readiness. Having a capacity for humor, curiosity, compassion and creativity in a stressful environment will grow your flexibility and emotional strength. How well do you do in times of chaos? What is your capacity to bring that sense of certainty, creativity, vision and direction to times of uncertainty?
ARE YOU OPEN TO GROWTH?
True leaders understand their own capabilities and limitations, and use this insight to consistently challenge themselves to grow.
How do you react to criticism and setbacks? A true leader sees them as an opportunity to improve as well as a challenge to prove themselves to others.
Are you constantly trying to hone and expand your skills? Professional development is a key component of leadership, whether it means working on your communication tools, technical acumen, or trying something new altogether.
When you are constantly striving to better yourself, you will be able to give and become more than you ever thought possible, defying the odds, setting a new standard and stepping up to create the future you want.
DO YOU SUPPORT YOUR COLLEAGUES?
A true leader is a great facilitator. Often, those in executive positions intimidate their colleagues with their title and power, taking the lead in a meeting or giving long speeches about their opinion. But successful leaders encourage others to voice their opinions. They are skilled at finding the greatness in others and support their colleagues perspectives, and they have no qualms with sitting back and hearing what others have to say. And if they disagree with what has been said, they vocalize their opinion in a constructive way, not putting others down, especially in front of others. Because a true leader understands that when people are rewarded for progress and honored consistently, their drive to become better increases as well.
ARE YOU RESOURCEFUL?
One of the most important skill sets of any great leader is resourcefulness. Now, this does not just mean you have the ability doing more with less. It’s about realizing that you can do more with less because you and your colleagues have more potential than you may have thought before. And this can open the door to even greater accomplishment.
A true leader wants to redefine the possible: extract greater results form the same hours or minutes, cut through the clutter of to-dos and focus on how to get real results. Because for a leader, there is no such thing as limited resources, there are only opportunities for innovation and self-realization.
DO YOU EMBODY THE CORE VALUES?
What does your company stand for? How do you anchor your actions and behavior to these values?
A true leader has a deep understanding of the company’s mission and embodies the core values set forth. While this may not seem that important, you may be surprised how rare it is to find an employee who can verbalize the goals and beliefs of the organization he or she works for. And when an employee keeps these cultural mainstays of the company at the forefront of all they do, he or she is in a better position to influence others. Because leadership is not just about winning the game, it’s about shaping the field so that it truly reflects what the company is about.
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